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1P8II5TEX LIBRIS 



BRUCE GOTTEN 

COLLECTION 

OF 

NORTH CAROLIN1ANA 



TWM 




:igii!iiiaiiigimg 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/eoneguskiorchero01stra 



EONEGUSKI, 



OR, 



THE CHEROKEE CHIEF: 



A TALE OF PAST WARS. 



BY AN AMERICAN. 



BUT HERE (METHINKS) MIGHT INDIA'S SONS EXPLORE 
THEIR FATHER'S DUST, OR LIFT, PERCHANCE OF YORE 
THEIR VOICE TO THE GREAT SPIRIT : 



Gertrude of Wyoming. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 



VOL. I. 



|©agFtfnjjton : 

FRANCK TAYLOR. 
1839. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, 
BY PETER FORCE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of 
Columbia. 



PRINTED BY PETER FORCE, 
CORNER OE 1> AND TENTH STREETS. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Dear Sir : 

Having heard of you as one ever ready to pro- 
mote the literature of your Country, and to develope 
its history, I have determined to forward you the 
accompanying, with a request that you will commit 
it to the press, if, according to your judgment, it 
possesses sufficient merits. 

In writing this manuscript I cannot claim to 
rank as an Author, having merely thrown together, 
with very little embellishment, facts that I have 
been enabled to collect from a variety of scattered 
sources. 

A few years ago I was a traveller through the 
western part of North Carolina, and having stopped 
early in the evening at a small village, on the south- 
western side of the Tennessee River, in the indul- 
gence of a curiosity common to myself, with most 
travellers, I inquired if the neighborhood furnish- 
ed anything to gratify an admirer of the works 
either of nature or of art. My host, who was, by 
the way, an amiable and intelligent man, promptly 
answered, that there was within the limits of the 



IV 

village itself, an " Indian mound," and that the 
Falls of the Sugar Town Fork, a few miles distant, 
were esteemed quite an interesting spectacle to such 
as loved to see nature in wildness and grandeur. 
Moved by no love of gain, which might seek to 
prolong, as much as possible, the stay of a guest 
where the visits of travellers were like those of 
angels, he kindly offered to accompany me the 
next day as far on the way to the Falls as the resi- 
dence of Mr. McDonald, who was, he informed 
me, the clerk of the court — a scholar, a gentleman, 
and one deeply versed in the legendary lore of the 
country, which he took great pleasure in imparting 
whenever it was his fortune to meet with an intelli- 
gent and interested listener. 

My host excused himself from accompanying 
me farther, by assuring me that I should 6nd in 
Mr. McDonald a willing and much more able 
guide than himself, in my progress up the Sugar 
Town Fork, and that the pressure of his own busi- 
ness would require his immediate return to the 
village. 

Accordingly, the next morning, I proceeded with 
my worthy host in quest of adventures, and would 
have crossed the Tennessee River at a new and 
convenient bridge, but was assured by him I should 
save half a dollar in going and returning by fording 
the stream, which, although quite rapid, was scarcely 
deep enough to swim my horse. I was but little 



INTRODUCTION. V 

practised as a highland traveller, and did not, I 
confess, feel very comfortable in looking upon the 
stream gliding swiftly beneath me ; and although 
my horse did not actually swim, my head did, and 
I was heartily glad when I touched terra firma on 
the opposite side. But I did not trouble my friend 
with any voluntary exhibitions of alarm ; but, on 
the contrary, flattered myself with the hope that I 
had succeeded in impressing him very favorably 
with both my courage and experience. 

We had not progressed far before I perceived 
that fifty cents for crossing the bridge at the village 
would have been a very idle expenditure of money, 
for as we advanced we had to cross and recross 
the stream every hundred or two yards, where it 
was very little narrower or shallower than where we 
first encountered it. It is true, as our general 
course was up the stream, both its width and depth 
did somewhat diminish at each successive ford, but 
it was very gradually, and before we reached Mr. 
McDonald's, my brain had become quite steady, 
and my confidence perfectly established. 

When I entered the house of Mr. McDonald it 
was not with the feelings of a stranger ; his first 
salutation being sufficient to satisfy me that he was a 
man after my own heart. Had he lived in a city, he 
would have been a book-worm, and wasted all his 
means in acts of benevolence ; but in his present 
situation, with a scanty library, he was forced to 
1* 



VI INTRODUCTION. 

read the book of nature, or, at least, many of its 
most striking pages ; and the demands upon his 
generous feelings were few, and never such as to 
tax the pocket. 

Should these pages ever find their way back to 
the region of which they treat, Mrs. McDonald 
will pardon the introduction of her name, as a most 
sincere and respectful offering of gratitude. She is 
a lady in the most significant sense of that term ; 
and I was almost compelled to doubt the evidence 
of my own senses when my eye glanced from the 
wild scenery around me, to the interesting woman, 
who, had she been bred in courts, would not have 
been half so successful in throwing an air of elegance 
over the rustic comforts by which she was sur- 
rounded. 

In a short time Mr. McDonald and I were ready 
to pursue our way, leaving my host of the village 
to return at his leisure. An hour's riding brought 
us where Mr. McDonald informed me our horses 
could no longer be useful ; we accordingly tied 
them to a limb of a tree, and began, on foot, to en- 
counter the very steep ascent formed by the moun- 
tains so closing in as to leave only a very narrow 
pass for the brawling stream. After laborious 
climbing for another hour, we reached the Falls, 
which, I confess, disappointed me, and I was even 
so impolite as to acknowledge it to my guide. But 
the wild and picturesque scenery through which I 



INTRODUCTION. VII 

had passed, would have repaid me for my fatigue, 
had I found nothing more. But the phrenologists 
say my organ of alimentiveness is a good deal de- 
veloped, and proves that I have an especial relish 
for good eating and drinking ; and I do not know 
that the aforesaid propensity of my nature has 
ever been more highly treated than on my present 
visit. 

As we turned to descend — " We must take a sal- 
mon home with us for dinner," said Mr. McDonald. 

" A salmon ?" said I, in unfeigned surprise. 

" Yes," replied my host, in his quiet way, " a 
salmon." 

" You are jesting with me," said I. 

" Indeed 1 am not," said Mr. McDonald, delibe- 
rately seating himself by the side of the stream 
we had regained, and pulling off his coat, shoes 
and stockings, and rolling up his pantaloons and 
shirt sleeves. 

In a moment more he was in the water, turning 
over the large rocks, with as much earnestness as 
if he had expected to find a bag of gold beneath 
each of them. I looked on, puzzled what to think 
of my new acquaintance. At length he succeeded 
in slightly shaking a very large rock, which defied 
all his efforts to turn it over, when instantly there 
dashed from beneath it what, at first, appeared to 
me to be a perfect monster. Mr. McDonald im- 
mediately rushed in pursuit, and a more amusing 



VIII INTRODUCTION. 



spectacle I never witnessed for twelve or fifteen 
minutes. The water was splashed about in every 
direction, so as to leave not a dry garment upon the 
pursuer, as a large fish darted from one hiding place 
to another, with fruitless efforts to avail himself of 
it. Sometimes the hand of the extraordinary fish- 
erman was fairly upon him, but the lubricity of his 
scales would save him, and afford him another 
chance for escape. At length, however, when 
nearly exhausted with his bootless exertions, Mr. 
McDonald succeeded in dexterously thrusting his 
hand into the gills of the fish, which now lashed 
the water into a perfect foam, and sent the spray in 
every direction, like a shower of rain. But the 
relentless foe held on, with tenacious grasp, and 
dragged him to the shore. My assistance now 
seemed necessary to prevent the captive from re- 
gaining his native element, so completely had the 
captor expended his strength in the double labor of 
turning over the rocks to dislodge the game and 
securing it afterwards. 

As soon as Mr. McDonald had sufficiently reco- 
vered himself, we repaired to our horses, with our 
prize, which he fastened behind his saddle. We 
then proceeded to his house, where Mrs. McDonald 
prepared for us a most sumptuous dinner, of which 
the captive fish constituted an important part, and 
was, by far, the finest, both in looks and flavor, I 
had ever tasted. 



INTRODUCTION. IX 

I am an admirer of good wine, and consequently 
have no great relish for what is commonly called 
native wine, but that which my host furnished on 
this occasion of his own vintage was to me uncom- 
monly palatable. 

After dinner my friend began to exhibit his pro- 
pensity for legendary recital, and, among other 
things, inquired of me if I had ever been at Tesum- 
toe? 

To this I replied in the negative. " Then," 
said he, " you have never seen the plain black cross 
which marks the head of a grave in the village 
graveyard." 

" Of course not," said I. 

" Around that cross," said he, " clusters some of 
the most interesting incidents connected with this 
part of the country." 

I encouraged the mood of my friend, and, with 
short intervals for sleep, and our necessary meals, 
it was far into the next day when I was compelled 
to break off, much against my will, leaving his reci- 
tal unfinished. I returned to the village that even- 
ing, and the next morning resumed my journey. 

In the following sheets I have thrown together 
parts of Mr. McDonald's narrative, mingled with 
much 1 had gathered from other sources ; and 
trust they will not be found destitute of interest. 
They embody to some extent the prevailing cus- 
toms of one tribe, at least, of our aborigines, and 



X INTRODUCTION. 

some effort is made to impart the interest of romance 
to a portion of its transactions with the whites. 

Since these pages were written, the removal of 
the Cherokees to the west of the Mississippi has 
been completed. Only the few particularly referred 
to in the latter part of the following story remain, 
and these, I perceive, have recently attracted the 
notice of some contributor to the newspapers. 
From this newspaper account, I should be led to 
infer they must have multiplied considerably since 
my friend Mr. McDonald's information respecting 
them. But it is possible he may not have medita- 
ted in his conversations with me, the most perfect 
accuracy, little suspecting I was " a chiel' amang 
them takin' notes.'' 

It may be, therefore, that should you see fit to 
usher to the light my humble labors, many other 
errors and inaccuracies may be detected by per- 
sons more knowing than myself. Should this be 
the case, I pray such to understand, that I do not 
hold myself accountable for accuracy in a single 
particular — that all that is therein set forth is en- 
dorsed without recourse — that Mr. McDonald and 
the rest who have furnished me with materials are 
alone responsible for their being genuine — and that 
so far from holding myself liable to the imputation 
of the shameful vices of wilful lying, or imprudently 
repeating things without regard to their truth or 
falsehood, I do not admit that it would be just and 



INTRODUCTION. XI 

proper, even to ascribe to me the amiable weakness 
of — credulity. I was myself entertained, without 
inquiring, or greatly caring, whether what I heard 
was true or false, and I am perfectly willing to afford 
to others a like opportunity. 

Should I fail in amusing and instructing those 
who may favor these pages with a perusal, contempt 
will shield them from any severe scrutiny upon the 
point of truth and accuracy. On the other hand, 
if where the former are afforded, the latter were 
also required, Homer and Milton would never have 
insinuated the beauteous fabrications of their respec- 
tive fancies into the texture of the religious creeds 
of their several ages, nor have become the standards 
of taste and models of poetic excellence for all 
generations. 

As in this age of utilitarianism no story can be 
considered worth perusing, from which no instructive 
moral can be drawn, I should be sorry to believe 
my labors deficient in this particular. From the 
uniform success attendant in my story on the white 
man, in every species of contest with the savage, 
whether in love or war, and whether single handed 
or in numbers, we may learn to set a just value upon 
the advantages of civilization. From thence nothing 
can be more natural than for us to advance another 
step, and feel our hearts warmed with gratitude to 
Providence, who has cast our own lot in the fortu- 
nate class. 



XII INTRODUCTION. 

But I will not anticipate further, leaving to every 
reader to select for himself from the moral and in- 
tellectual repast we set before him, and if he rises 
from it unamused and uninstructed, I must indulge 
my vanity so far as to attribute the fault to him, 
rather than myself. 

Should the Public, however, that just arbiter from 
whose judgment there is no appeal, give to my 
production any decided mark of approval, it is 
more than probable you may hear again from one 
who is, 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

AN AMERICAN. 
To Peter Force, Esq. 



EONEGUSKI 



CHAPTER I. 

Above me are the Alps, 



Those palaces of Nature, whose vast walls 
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps. 

******* 

But ere these matchless heights I dare to scan, 
There is a spot should not be pass'd in vain. 

Byron. 

The spirit of adventure and a love of freedom, rather 
than ease, have been prominent characteristics of the 
Anglo-Americans, from the very beginning of their ex- 
istence as a people. Indeed, if the origin of this race 
could be traced to the age of Fable, these principles 
would be found personified by the poets ; and supersti- 
tious Americans might claim a mythological descent 
from a demigod called Enterprise, by the Genius of Li- 
berty, whom he accidentally encountered in the wilds of 
Briton. But no clouds of uncertainty hover over the 
origin of our Heaven-favored nation, and, without a 
figure, its existence may be traced to the joint effect of 
a bold love of enterprise, and an intolerance of oppres- 
sion. These moved our ancestors to forsake the home 
of their fathers, and seek for fortune and freedom in 
an untrodden wilderness. Though no civilized man 
had preceded them thither, the savage was there, 
claiming the lordship of the soil by Nature's charter — 
possession — authenticated by her law — superior force. 
Yet, it was the will of Heaven that this physical law 
should be superseded, and that the Red men should 

vol. I. — 2. 



14 EONEGUSKl. 

yield their homes to greatly inferior numbers of the 
Whites, receding before their rapidly increasing masses, 
ceaselessly, as the roll of the billows of the ocean, 
until checked by the voice of Him who hath set for 
the sea her appointed boundaries. 

Many years ago, Robert Aymor removed to that 
region of country which lies immediately to the west- 
ward of the Blue Ridge, within the chartered limits of 
the State of North Carolina. His father before him 
had been one of those who constituted portions of the 
vanguard of the white settlers, who, planting their feet 
successively on each spot of earth while yet warm with 
the departing footstep of the Aboriginal possessor, tra- 
ced him closely in his retreat towards the setting sun. 
This mode of life had become endeared to Robert, by 
the sacred influence of paternal example, and was fol- 
lowed as the one for which he was best fitted, both by 
habit and disposition. 

Robert Aymor was an illiterate man, in the more 
proper acceptation of the term, although he was not 
ignorant of the rudiments of reading, writing, and arith- 
metic, and was accounted no bad practical surveyor. 
But he was a man of strong natural sense, had been a 
shrewd observer of men and things, and had carefully 
treasured up the traditionary lore of his ancestors. His 
inward man was, therefore, far above the contempt of 
the most pretending, and could rather look down from 
its own elevation upon most with whom it was its 
fortune to encounter. In personal advantages he had 
no cause to complain of nature. She had given him 
a strong athletic frame, about six feet two inches in 
height when standing in his moccasins, although this 
height was rendered less striking from that peculiar 
stoop, which is generally described by the term round- 
shouldered. Locks, which were in early life as black 
as the raven's wing, now intermingled here and there 
with hair rivalling the snow in whiteness, clustered 
around a high broad forehead. Long shaggy brows 
overhung small clear grey eyes, deep buried in their 



EONEGUSKI. 15 

sockets. His nose was long, thin, and sharp, such as 
is usually selected to grace the face of a miser ; and, as 
is generally the case with one of that description, con- 
tinually threatened approach to a chin, projecting be- 
neath it, and seeming, in its turn, ambitiously aspiring 
to the place of its rival. But these doughty champions 
were kept apart by a mouth on which an expression of 
soft benevolence sat continually. Whatever might be 
said in disparagement of particular features in the face 
of Robert Aymor, his mouth imparted to the whole 
countenance a winning expression, which disarmed at 
once the purpose of scrutiny, and subdued any preju- 
dice with which a stranger might have approached 
him. No people upon earth are usually so soon obe- 
dient to the promptings of nature, to select for them- 
selves an helpmate, as the settlers of a new country ; 
yet Robert Aymor was rather an exception to this 
general rule, for reasons which will appear in the 
course of the story. But his case formed no exception 
to the haste with which this important act is generally 
performed, at whatever period of life convenience may 
dictate it : — the choice commonly devolving upon the 
first good looking object on which the eyes of the 
swain may fall, after he has resolved to marry. 

Dorothy Hays was a hearty buxom lass, fair, and 
round featured — her father resided contiguous to the pa- 
rent of Robert Aymor ; she crossed his path at the critical 
moment, and they became man and wife. But it was 
not long after marriage that Aymor made a discovery, 
which hung like a cloud over his prospects of happi- 
ness. His Dolly proved to be one of those weak per- 
sons, whom unscrupulous rudeness might have called 
a fool. From the moment that, what was at first suspi- 
cious apprehension, became fixed conviction, Aymor 
felt, that respect for his wife, the only fetter with which 
wayward love can effectually be bound, was wanting, 
and that he must thenceforth pass through life the list- 
less slave of conjugal duty, and not the cheerful subject 
oi connubial affection. But he was, in his way, a 



16 EONEGtTSKI. 

conscientious man, and resolved that Dolly should 
never know the distressing discovery he had made, 
nor find any thing 1 in his manner different from what 
she would have done had she been all that, in the 
blindness of passion, he once imagined her. This was 
a resolution not altogether in the power of human 
nature to keep, and, when mortified by her follies, or 
wearied with her stupidity, hasty expressions would 
escape his lips, which happily for herself she was in- 
capable of feeling in all their cutting severity. What 
a riddle is man ! And what cause for grateful admira- 
tion has he to the Author of all good, that the root of 
some of his holiest feelings, and some of his highest 
moral enjoyments, is found amid his very vices, his 
foibles, and his griefs ! And thus did Robert Aymor 
often experience an overflowing of tenderness for his 
wife, and pleasure in offering her atoning kindnesses, 
after one of those bursts of impatience, she possessed no 
other means of calling forth or producing. 

At the period when our story opens, Robert Aymor 
was more than fifty years of age, and his wife some 
years younger, although a stranger might have judged 
her the elder of the two. Time, which had rendered 
him more gaunt, and thus, notwithstanding the slight 
increase in his natural stoop, added to his apparent 
height, had greatly increased her natural obesity, and 
she now moved with difficulty a mass of matter scarcely 
less in circumference than in height. That attention 
to personal neatness, by which so many efface for a 
season those traces by which Time is ever striving to 
mark his transit, was in her case entirely wanting. 
Her broad round face, through the texture of whose 
skin the multitudinous veins, with their crimson cur- 
rents, distinctly shewed, as if the latter were ready to 
burst forth, was in perfect contrast with the meagre, 
weather-beaten visage of her husband. Her sex, her 
age, and her intellect, all conspired to render her gar- 
rulous, whilst the very extravagance of her loquacity 
but served to increase that taciturnity so natural to the 



EONEGUSKI. 17 

situation of Aymor. The ordinary fruits of matrimo- 
ny had not been denied to this couple, and Dolly, as 
far as possible, had atoned for mental barrenness, by 
an unusual fecundity of body. The young olive plants 
encircled the table of Aymor — his quiver was full of 
those arrows which are a blessing from the Lord — 
and if more than a dozen children could save from that 
misfortune, he need not have been ashamed when he 
met his enemy in the gates. 

Gideon, the eldest of these mountain shoots, is the 
one with whom, in the progress of our story, we shall 
have most to do, and was, at the period we speak of, 
about the age when a man is said to be handsome, if 
ever. A little more than a score of years were accom- 
plished since his birth, and had conferred upon him the 
honors of manhood. In person Gideon was more upon 
the model of his mother, than his father. In height 
he did not exceed five feet nine inches, and from her he 
had borrowed a full black eye, snub nose, and plump 
sensual lips. But although his figure was rather 
broad in proportion to his height, there was no super- 
fluous flesh about him, and he was, upon the whole, well 
formed, both for strength and activity. His intellectual 
character was a combination of those of his two pa- 
rents. He possessed his father's shrewdness, though 
not to the full extent, and was, perhaps, his equal in 
courage and enterprise, but was quite deficient in 
his characteristic generosity and frankness of disposi- 
tion. Altogether he was well calculated to work his 
way through the world, and especially in that mode of 
life which had been followed by his family for several 
generations ; he was bold, active, and enterprising, and 
shrunk not from the labors incident to the rude hus- 
bandry of the time and place, or the dangers and fa- 
tigues of hunting. 

From a small range of mountains, on the western 

side of French Broad River, commonly called the 

Homony Hills, issues a clear rapid stream, also called 

Homony Creek. This stream takes its rise near the 

2* 



18 EONEGUSKI. 

very summit of the ridge, and winding its way for 
seven or eight miles, serves like the thread of Ari- 
adne, to guide the wanderer through the mazes of a 
labyrinth, to the only practicable passage across this 
barrier of nature's own erection. In various places 
along its course through the mountain hollow, small 
and narrow, but beautiful and fertile pieces of land 
spread themselves out in a perfect level, presenting a 
pleasing contrast with the wild and precipitous hills in 
which they are embosomed. These delightful spots 
of ground become more numerous and extensive as the 
stream progresses on its rapid and irriguous way, until, 
where it finally emerges from the gorge of the moun- 
tain, it meanders through a rich plain, containing many 
acres, and at last loses itself in French Broad River. 

This plain, at the time we speak of, was in part 
occupied by the farm of Robert Aymor, lying around 
the point, which like a promontory, of no great extent, 
stretched itself out from the foot of the mountain into 
the plain. Upon this elevation Aymor had erected his 
comfortable log dwelling. The abrupt and rocky 
edges of this hill were concealed by a thick evergreen 
growth of mountain ivy and laurel, while the level on 
its summit, shorn of all brush and underwood, was 
crowned with a magnificent growth of mountain ash, 
chestnut and poplar, which, in the summer heat, lent 
their refreshing shade to the cottage they surrounded. 
Yet their branches were not now stretching out their 
leafy canopy, to shelter from solstitial heat the panting 
sufferer, but, stript of their verdant honors, were rudely 
torn and shaken by the wintry blasts, or hung, as in 
mockery, with the gathering snow wreath. Night had 
come down upon the earth, with a darkness unmitigated, 
save by the phosphoric light emitted from the snow, 
which had been for hours falling fast and thickly. The 
wind howled piteously through the hollows of the Hom- 
mony, while the dash of its stream could scarcely be 
heard in its feeble efforts to escape from the icy prison 
in which stern nature was hastening to confine it. The 



EONEGUSKI. 19 

family of Robert Aymor, in this inclement night, was 
gathered around, or rather, partly within and partly 
around a fire-place but little inferior in size to a small 
bed room, from the centre of which a large pile of 
wood was sending up a lively blaze, roaring as it 
ascended, as if in defiance, or in imitative mockery of 
the storm without. 

" Atha! my dear," said Aymor, as he drew near 
the fire, and gave it a punch with the poking stick, 
" put the children to bed : Lucy and Sylvia are asleep 
already, and the rest are not far behind them." 

"For God's sake, Bob Aymor," said his wife, "let 
the children alone, if they're a mind to sleep by the fire 
I can't see why it ain't just as good as putting them to 
bed." 

" Mother !" replied Atha, modestly, " I think father 
is right, the poor little things can't be comfortable in the 
way they are fixed, and, besides, there is danger of their 
taking cold." 

" I hav'nt another word to say about it, Atha ; I 
know you'll always side with your father, so just fix it 
your own way." 

Atha, a pretty country girl, a year or two younger 
than her brother Gideon, proceeded to fulfil the 
command of her father, and, for a time, the sounds of 
" harmony not understood," filled the cottage, as she 
successively stripped the members of the juvenile mul- 
titude, and consigned them to their respective places of 
repose. At length, all was again quiet within the 
cottage, and the storm, as if to make up for the time in 
which its clamor had been drowned by the noise of the 
children, raged more loudly without. 

" It is a fearful night," said Atha, shivering, as she 
returned towards the cheerful hearth, " and God knows 
I pity from my heart the many poor creatures who are 
exposed to it, without a house to shelter, or a fire to 
warm them." 

" You are thinking of John Welch, now," said her 
mother. " I don't care the peeling of a 'tater where he 



20 EONEGUSKI. 

is ; and, if I was you, I wouldn't be such a fool, as to 
have him always in my head." 

" It isn't kind in you, mother, to take me up in this 
way," replied Atha, sorrowfully ; " I am sure I did not 
say a word about John Welch, and even if a thought of 
him had come across my mind, when I heard the wind 
howl so dismally, it is no wonder, when you know, 
mother, we have been playmates ever since I can re- 
member anything, and that I may have been the cause 
of his exposure to this dreadful storm, and, gracious 
knows, how many other troubles and dangers." An 
unbidden tear gathered in the eye of the innocent girl, 
which she hastened to wipe away with the corner of 
her apron. 

" You know it wa'nt my fau't, Atha," continued her 
mother, in a softened tone of voice, " I always thought 
John Welch good enough for anybody, but Bob Ay- 
mor must always carry a high head, and I look for 
the day to come when he'll wish he had carried it 
lower." 

" Don't blame father," said Atha, sobbing, " I know 
he acted for the best, and is now as sorry as any of us 
that he treated the poor fellow so harshly." 

" You are right, Atha, my dear," said her father, pull- 
ing her head gently down upon his bosom, " Welch 
was a noble fellow, although my pride revolted at the 
Indian blood in his veins ; but it wasn't much after 
all, — and you love him Atha. — Cheer up, my girl, he 
will return to us again, and all shall yet be well. 
Who knows but he may come back to us this night, 
as stormy as it is ?" 

Atha shook her head with mournful incredulity, but 
the words of her father, accompanied by the kind ex- 
pression of his countenance, had fallen with balsamic 
influence upon her wounded feelings, and, to use a 
hackneyed figure of the poets, a tranquil smile lighted 
up her countenance as she wiped away her tears, like 
a rainbow painted on a departing cloud. 

" Now, I wonder, Bob Aymor," cried Dolly, at the 



EONEGUSKI. 21 

very pitch of her voice, " if you do really ever expect to 
see John Welch again? For my part, I'd as soon look 
for cranberries in the cornfield; — and to night too? 
why you might as well expect an angel from Heaven !" 
The latch of the outer door was now heard to move, 
and as every eye involuntarily turned in that direction, 
the thought flashed through every mind "It is he!" 
The heart of Atha throbbed violently — she gasped for 
breath, and was constrained to cling to her father's chair 
for support. The door opened, and a figure entered — 
"My God!" exclaimed Atha, as the light fell upon 
straight black locks, and was reflected from piercing 
black eyes, which gave expression to a bright copper-co- 
lored countenance. But, with the quickness of thought, 
she perceived that her eager hope had mislead her, and 
that no drop of the white man's blood animated the 
being who now approached the fire. He had upon his 
entrance shaken from his hat and the blanket wrapped 
about his shoulders, the masses of snow which had 
gathered upon them, as well as from his moccasins of 
tanned deer-skin, of one piece with the leggins encasing 
his lower extremities. The leggins and moccasins 
were laced up with strings of horse hair, composed of 
mingled strains of red, blue, and yellow, of a very 
bright dye. The eyelet holes, through which the 
strings passed, were inwrought with the quill part of 
the feathers of birds, dyed in the same variety of colors 
with the horse hair. Breeches of the same material 
with his leggins, and a hunting shirt of coarse cotton, 
completed the habiliments of the stranger. His wrists 
were ornamented with bracelets, formed of beads, and 
his ears with large rings suspended from their tips. At 
his back hung a bow and quiver, and on his right side, 
beneath his blanket, a shot pouch and powder horn. 
In his right hand he bore a rifle, the breech of which 
he brought down upon the floor, as he advanced. 

This apparition, who, when they discovered that it 
was a full blooded Indian, ceased to interest the hopes 
or apprehensions of the family circle, upon which he had 



22 EONEGUSKI. 

obtruded himself, (for they were no strangers to such 
visiters,) was about the middle stature, of a graceful ac- 
tive form, with the proverbial straightness of his race. 
With a measured and stately pace he advanced towards 
the fire, without deigning to address himself to any one, 
and silently changed his position from time to time, so 
as most advantageously to diffuse the genial glow 
through his chilled members. Those in whose pre- 
sence he stood, were too well acquainted with the habits 
of his race to feel any surprise, or sense of rude treat- 
ment, from the unceremonious entrance, or silent free- 
dom of the savage. A significant " umph !" an- 
nounced, at length, that the process of warming himself 
had been so far accomplished, as, according to his own 
ideas of propriety, to render silence no longer becom- 
ing. 

" The white man," he said, addressing Aymor, " has 
often found food and shelter in the wigwams of the 
Cherokees. In my father's hut the white man is wel- 
come to warm by the blaze of his fire, and to satisfy his 
hunger from the pot of *Connehany, which stands 
ready on his hearth ." 

" You are welcome," said Aymor, laconically. A 
significant glance from her father was sufficient and 
Atha proceeded to set before the famished son of the 
forest the remnants of their evening meal. Having 
satisfied the cravings of hunger, by availing himself, in 
moderation, of what was set before him, the Indian, 
wrapped in his blanket, laid down to repose beside the 
fire. His host and family soon sought their respec- 
tive places of rest, and sepulchral stillness reigned 
through the mansion, whose inmates had undergone 
the change so typical of that at which our nature shud- 
ders. 

* Connehany, a kind of sour homony. 



EONEGtJSKI. 



CHAPTER II. 

In shape, mein, manners, prowess, solid parts, 
A man complete. B. F. B. 

There is a wide difference in the habits of various 
portions of the great family of man, in their distribution 
of the twenty-four hours, which constitute the day. 
By some, the order of nature is entirely reversed, and 
the gratuitous brightness of Heaven is shut out from 
their dwellings, while they press the bed of untimely 
slumber, and are, consequently, driven to purchase from 
art much of the light by which their labors are perform- 
ed, and their revelry enjoyed. Such were not the ha- 
bits in which Robert Aymor had been trained ; and he, 
in his turn, both by precept and example, enforced upon 
his household the custom of early rising. 

But on the morning succeeding the evening mention- 
ed in our last chapter, the family of Aymor did not find 
themselves intruders upon the unfinished slumbers of 
their guest. He had left the cottage, at what hour none 
of them could tell, for his departure had been as noiseless 
as the fall of the flakes of snow, with which all nature 
was covered. Some little gossip there was among them, 
who he could be ; but his unceremonious departure was 
to them a matter of no more surprise than his abrupt 
entrance, and, in a few moments, the thoughts of him 
were completely dismissed from their minds. There 
was a suspension in the storm, — and the day passed on, 
cold, cheerless, and cloudy, without any actual fall of 
either snow, rain, or hail. Night quickly returned, 
and with it the renewed storm, although with mitigated 
violence. Then also returned to the cottage of Aymor, 
the visiter of the preceding evening, in the same guise 



24 EONEGUSKL 

and accoutrements, and with the addition of a heavy- 
burden upon his shoulders, beneath which he staggered 
near to the fire-place, and threw it upon a rude bench. 
" Aha !" said he, as he gave it a slap with his hand, and 
regarded it with a smile of satisfaction, which seemed 
to glance off from that object towards the family circle, 
"*How-wih." "That is a noble buck," said Aymor, 
"but you must have toiled hard for it in a country 
where deer is so plenty, if that is the only fruit of 
a whole day's labor." " It is yours," said the Indian, 
not appearing to notice Aymor's last remark. In a 
very short time a portion of the skin of the deer was 
stripped aside, and a few choice slices of his flesh 
laid upon the coals, were added to their simple supper. 
The host shared with his provident guest his family 
meal, but little seasoned with discourse, to which the 
latter seemed rather averse ; and, according to the custom 
of those who early shake off slumber in the morning, 
they were all ready soon after supper to return to its 
embraces. 

The next morning, like the preceding, did not find 
his Indian guest in the cottage of Aymor, but his 
place was not empty in the evening at the hospitable 
board, nor was his blanket wrapped form wanting at 
bed time to repose beside the hearth. For several suc- 
cessive days and nights the Indian came and went, in 
the same manner, always bringing with him some piece 
of choice game for the table of his kind entertainer, of 
whom his independent soul seemed to disdain the receipt 
of unrequited benefits. When, however, the weather 
had somewhat moderated, he no longer constituted a 
member of the evening circle around Aymor's hearth, 
although he would occasionally drop in at irregular 
hours, sometimes to apprize Aymor where he would 
find a fat buck which the Cherokee had brought down 
with his rifle, too ponderous for convenient carriage by 
his single strength, and sometimes to be himself the 
bearer of some lighter present. 

* How-wih, signifies in the Cherokee tongue, " Deer." 



EONEGTJSKI. 25 

At length it became a matter of casual inquiry with 
Aymor, as well as with other members of his family, 
what the object of the Indian could be, in thus remaining 
so long- in their neighborhood, where he was too often 
seen, to allow the supposition that he ever left it far ; 
and one less bold and fearless than Aymor, might have 
suspected a motive fraught with danger to himself. He 
was not ignorant of the craft of the savage, and that 
with him an appearance of friendship, is not unfre- 
quently the fair cluster of flowers beneath which the 
deadliest malice lies coiled, like a serpent, for a more 
fatal and effectual spring. But he knew, also, that the 
savage, in common with other human beings, seldom 
acts without a motive, and has too much sagacity to 
hazard, in the mere wantonness of mischief, his own 
safety ; and that between himself and the Cherokee 
wanderer, now in his vicinity, there could be no just 
cause of feud. The truth is, Aymor's bosom was almost 
a stranger to fear, and the only sentiment excited in his 
mind in relation to the purpose of the savage, was one of 
simple curiosity. Even this did not much trouble him, 
and he permitted the Indian daily to cross his path un- 
questioned. Indeed, how could he obtrude himself into 
the confidence of one who seemed so much to shun con- 
versation, and upon whose providence he was hourly 
feeding? Such was the literal fact, for Aymor could 
not say that he had sat down to a meal since this stran- 
ger had visited his house, that some article supplied by 
him did not constitute its most attractive portion. 

Gideon Aymor, as we have said, was active and en- 
terprising, yet something had prevented him from giv- 
ing his wonted attention to forest sports for some weeks 
previous to the arrival of the Indian, and for some time 
afterwards. At length this cause of temporary suspen- 
sion passed away, and he began to resume his gun, and 
would frequently in his wanderings fall in with this 
new acquaintance. Although he did not at first find 
the Indian very communicative, similarity of pursuit 
would carry them far and long together, until at length 

VOL. I. — 3. 



26 EONEGUSKI. 

kindly feelings sprang up between them. Gideon 
perceived, after a few days hunting with the Indian, 
that he had greatly overrated his own skill in wood- 
craft, and was, in that art, simple as it may seem, 
at an immeasurable distance behind his companion, 
from whom he was hourly learning some new piece 
of stratege — sometimes to steal, unawares, upon the 
unsuspecting game — sometimes to attract it within 
reach of his treacherous aim — at others to place him- 
self in a situation to meet, in their silly flight, vic- 
tims who fancied they were leaving him far behind. 
Besides these, he learnt from him much that he knew 
not before, in the preparation, carriage, and use of his 
weapons, and the best methods of butchering the larger 
game after he had brought it down, as well as the 
habits and places of resort of the different animals, to- 
gether with many other things, manifesting profound 
sagacity in the teacher, and highly convenient for an 
accomplished hunter to know. 

As restraint wore off between them, Gideon was em- 
boldened to inquire of his companion, in direct terms, 
the name he bore. " I am called Eoneguski, or the 
Big Bear," was the reply ; and with that Gideon was 
satisfied. 

Some weeks had passed by unheeded since Eone- 
guski had been in habits of association with Gideon, 
when, one morning, the latter joined the former upon a 
preconcerted excursion. Gideon had hitherto worn his 
shot-pouch suspended by a narrow belt of leather, 
which passed over his shoulder, extending diagonally 
to the opposite side. That was now. thrown aside, 
and a broad one, of net woollen, occupied its place. 
It was of a bright scarlet color, except a space upon 
the middle of the breast, which was left white, de- 
scribing two hearts blended. The device, the neat- 
ness of the execution, the novelty, and, above all, the 
bright red color, (being a well known Indian dye, of 
which the whites were generally ignorant,) attracted 
the attention of the savage, who laid his hand upon the 



EONEGUSKI. 27 

belt, with one of those calm expressions of admiration 
which is the utmost savages generally allow themselves. 
"It is a present from my sister Atha," said Gideon, " it 
was net by her two or three years ago, for her sweet- 
heart, John Welch, but some how or other she never 
gave it to him; and my father objected to her having 
any thing more to say to him, so she gave it to me seve- 
ral weeks since, and I just fancied this morning that I 
would put it on." 

Gideon saw no motion, either in the countenance or 
frame of the Indian, during these remarks, which were 
made by himself with the most familiar indifference. 
But he had unconsciously waked from their repose pas- 
sions wild and active, within a heart in which they 
resided in tremendous power. Yet pride, the most pow- 
erful among them, even in the savage, held the rest in 
subjection, and allowed them not to betray themselves 
in the workings of the countenance. 

After a short pause, the Indian replied, " Your sis- 
ter loves John Welch V But, without design, there 
was something in the tone of his voice which star- 
tled him to whom the question was addressed. Gideon 
turned a surprised, hasty, and inquisitive glance upon 
the countenance of the savage, but perceiving nothing 
there, in its cold composure, to justify the suspicion 
which, with the instantaneous energy of electricity, the 
question, with its tone of voice, had stirred into being, 
he replied with a smile of renewed confidence, " I be- 
lieve — nay, I may say, I know she does." 

" Would she marry him?" was the quick reply. 

" She would, if my father's consent could be obtain- 
ed : of that she has despaired hitherto, but I believe, if 
John Welch ever again makes his appearance, they 
will be married." His habitual self-command was in- 
sufficient to suppress a groan which now escaped the 
savage. Again the formerly short-lived suspicions of 
Gideon sprung up in his mind, and agitated it with 
contending thoughts. He cast a stern, inquisitive look 
once more upon the face of the Indian ; but the page 



28 EONEGUSKI. 

was blank he sought to read, and he was again baffled 
in his attempt to penetrate the thoughts of his com- 
panion. The subject was now dropped between them, 
and, with listless apathy, the two hunters continued 
their route, scarcely exchanging a word, and each 
seemingly occupied with other thoughts than of the 
business they were on. Their labor was more unpro- 
ductive than usual, and they finally separated as men 
who have been better friends, without being at the same 
time able to make any well defined complaint against 
each other. 

Many days elapsed and Gideon had not rejoined the 
Indian in his woodland excursions, and notwithstanding 
this, the latter continued to pay his occasional visits to 
the cottage of Aymor. Yet he could not but remark 
a great alteration in the manner of his reception, with 
two, at least, of its inmates. That of Gideon was cold 
and distant, whilst Atha's amounted almost to shudder- 
ing abhorrence. This change was deeply mortifying to 
the pride of the savage, and he half resolved to expose 
himself no more to such trials. But pushed onward by 
that most irresistible of all forces in noble natures, the 
sense of duty, he determined to bear with present incon- 
veniences, in the hope of enjoying the happy result, 
when he should stand more than justified before those 
by whom he was now evidently suspected. 

It will not have escaped the reader, that the interest 
manifested by Eoneguski in his sister's love affairs had 
induced Gideon to suspect him of entertaining towards 
her presumptuous hopes for himself, and the groan 
which had escaped the Indian confirmed the suspicion, 
so as to arouse the youth's indignation, and even hatred, 
against his late friend. His conduct had been according ; 
but the ridiculous position in which he would have stood, 
should his suspicions prove groundless, was a seal upon 
his lips, and prevented his charging Eoneguski with his 
supposed offence. The sagacious savage was not slow 
in discovering these suspicions, and penetrating their 
nature; but his native dignity, delicacy, and pride, re- 



EONEGUSKI. 29 

coiled from speaking of them, and he therefore suffered 
himself to remain, unjustly, their object, until some fa- 
vorable occasion should present itself for their removal. 
He naturally accounted for the loathing horror which 
Atha manifested towards him, by Gideon's having 
infused into her mind his own suspicions. Natural as 
this was, he was, however, mistaken, and Gideon and 
Atha were acting, although, seemingly, so consenta- 
neously against him, upon totally different motives. 

The cold weather was passing away, and in the more 
sheltered valleys and coves, where Spring could be most 
secure from the rude intrusions of Winter, (in those fits 
of passion which he sometimes manifests when reluct- 
antly yielding up his empire,) she was amusing herself 
with a few of her earliest favorites, dropping here and 
there a floral gem upon the margin of some brook, 
as she bent over it in listening to its song of welcome. 
The wounded pride of the Indian, although it had not 
been sufficient to restrain them altogether, had yet 
greatly diminished the frequency of his visits at the 
house of Aymor : and several days had elapsed since 
he had made any of his usual presents to the family ; 
when his heart thus held communion with itself: — " It 
can be borne no longer ; Why should the white man 
believe a lie? I will go to him — he shall know the 
truth — and Eoneguski and Gideon shall once more be 
friends, or open enemies. Why do I linger here, when 
the Great Spirit has said, that my errand shall not be 
accomplished 1 I will go once more to the home of 
Aymor, and they shall all see the heart of Eoneguski, 
and I will then return to my own sunny land, where 
the voice of the *wekolis is telling of the coming sum- 
mer." 

'Twas evening, and the sun was stealing the last 
kiss from the beautiful landscape which surrounded the 
dwelling of Aymor, when Eoneguski glided into it 
with a shy timidity, very different from his wonted man- 
ner, bearing in his hand a brace of beautiful pheasants 
* Wekolis — Whip-poor.will. 

3* 



30 EONEGUSKl. 

he had just brought down from one of the summits of 
the Homony. " You had better keep them, Eonegus- 
ki," said Gideon, " your presents are no longer accept- 
able here." 

The savage retreated a step, as though he had dis- 
covered at his feet a rattlesnake, coiled in its deadly 
folds. " It is well ;" said he, " the son of Eonah licks 
not the foot that spurns him." He turned to depart — 
hesitated for a moment — then turned again to Gideon. 
" Young man," continued he, " the Great Spirit knows 
the hearts he has made, and nothing is hid from his 
eyes ; but his children cannot read the hearts of each 
other. I would that mine were open to you, like my 
hand, (extending at the same time his palm,) that you 
might see how much you wrong me. Come to me to- 
morrow, just as yon hill is again bathed in the return- 
ing light of the sun, and Gideon and Eoneguski will 
yet be friends. Promise me this, and my spirit will be 
satisfied ; if not, the son of Eonah must wash out, as 
he is wont to do, insult in the offender's blood. — But 
you will come ; I know you will come," continued he, 
in a beseeching tone of voice, "for why should the 
knife be between us ?" 

" Where shall I come?" inquired Gideon. 

" It will not be the first time," he replied, " that you 
have seen where Eoneguski sleeps." 

" It is enough, I will come," said Gideon. 

" And is the gift of the Cherokee still despised by 
the white man ?" inquired the savage. 

"No!" replied Gideon, "we are friends again; at 
least until I see whether you can make good your pro- 
mise." " It is well," replied the Indian, once more 
placing the pheasants upon the table, and retreating 
from the cottage. 



EONEGUSKI. 31 



CHAPTER III. 

The noise of parting boughs was heard — 
Within the wood a footstep stirr'd ; 
The partner of her grief appears, 
To kiss away her falling tears. 

Yamoyden. 

From the side of the elevation on which the house 
of Aymor was situated, gushed forth a fountain, clear 
and copious. It was from that side which fronted 
the south, and while, therefore, it was a spot among 
the earliest to acknowledge the genial influence of 
spring, and where autumn delighted the latest to 
linger — in the midst of summer, shaded, as it was, 
by thick foliage, and fanned by the breath of the 
" sweet south," it was remarkable for its refreshing 
coolness. This then was a favorite resort for the fami- 
ly, for many reasons. Apart from the temptations 
already mentioned, which it held out for hours of idle- 
ness, it had many attractions for the foot of industry. 
Here the spring-house was erected, (that most essential 
requisite for those who would have good milk and but- 
ter,) within whose ample area all the interesting labors 
of the dairy were performed. Here, likewise, that most 
necessary article in the art of purification, clear water, 
was to be found in sufficient abundance, and thither, 
accordingly, those members on whom devolved the duty 
of restoring to their original purity, the soiled garments 
of the family, periodically repaired. 

On the morning when Gideon had sallied out, graced 
with that belt already described, as wrought by the 
fair hands of his sister Atha, he had not passed by 
her unnoticed, though her heart was too full to venture 



32 EONEGUSKI. 

a word of address to him. The sight of that belt 
brought with it mingled emotions of pain and plea- 
sure. It had, as Gideon said, been wrought by her, 
in the innocence of virgin love, as a slight offering 
of affection to him whose heart she supposed, and 
therefore thought it no impropriety to represent, as 
blended with her own. But after she had finished it 
she could never find courage to present it, although 
opportunities were not wanting to have done so, until 
her father's expressed disapprobation of their union 
had determined her to smother an affection she could 
never hope to extinguish. Abandoning, therefore, all 
thought of giving it to him for whom it was origi- 
nally designed, she had no difficulty in yielding it to 
the request of her brother. It was a request made by 
him, more in idleness than desire, and it was, therefore, 
some time after receiving the gift, before he put it to 
any use. This morning, in the waywardness of fancy, 
he happened to put it on, and, by so doing, powerfully 
stirred the heart of his sister, newly excited by hopes, 
which had withered in the winter of her father's frown, 
but were now putting forth afresh under the warmth 
of his approving smile. It was with great timidity she 
ventured to launch her bark of hope : — for that lover, 
her union with whom her father's approbation had 
been all that was wanting, was now, she knew not 
where, and might never reappear to claim the hand 
awaiting only his demand. In this state of things an 
agitation was produced in her spirits, by the sight of the 
belt, unfitting her for a time for her usual occupations, 
and to recover her self-possession, she sauntered down 
to the fountain. 

Here, throwing herself upon a seat where she had 
often in the happy and artless days of childhood, sat, 
in pastime with her now absent lover, the past, the 
present, and future, shifted rapidly in her mind their 
varigated scenery. Absorbed in reflection, she almost 
unconsciously commenced humming to a well known 
air, the following words, which had been brought to 



EONEGUSKI. 33 

the western wilds by some visiter from a more civilized 
region : — 

Love sly] y weaves his flow'ry chain, 
And binds the captive heart ; 
The cool fresh flow'rs inflict no pain 
So deep the tyrant's art. 

Another, yet another wreath 

He archly throws around ; 

The flow'rs abroad their fragrance breathe ; 

Th' unconscious heart is bound. 

As gossamers in fairy plies, 

The captive insect bind, 

The heart subdued and panting lies 

In flow'ry chains confin'd. 

But when has vanished from that chain 
The fresh and fragrant breath ; 
The captive strives, to break, in vain, 
A bondage strong as death. 

The gay soft leaves no more conceal 
The lurking thorns beneath, 
But give the wounded heart to feel 
Flow'rs form not all the wreath. 

Too late against its bondage vile 
The heart may efforts make ; 
The fetters gather strength, the while 
The heart alone may break. 

" And do I find my Atha planning rebellion against 
the dominion of Love," said a melancholy voice, close to 
her ear, " at the very moment, when I am drawn hither 
the passive slave of his will, at you know not what risk, 
to enjoy with the chosen of my heart, one brief inter- 
view." It were needless to say, that Atha did not re- 
main motionless in her seat, when she saw the arms of 
John Welch stretched out to embrace her ; she uttered a 
cry of wild delight, and threw herself upon his bosom. 
" Atha, my dear," said Welch, " you must calm your 
transports: I have already said that I have but a 



34 EOTTEGrSKI. 

moment to remain with you, and even that is fraught 
with imminent peril." 

11 You need not fear any longer to be here," she said, 
looking up in his face with a smile of confidence, " my 
father is not now displeased, but is anxiously desiring to 
see you." 

" A few days ago, Atha, and that information would 
have made me a happy man, but now it is as the sight 
of water to one dying under the scorching fire of fever, 
to whom strength no longer remains to stretch forth his 
hand and bring it to his lips." 

" Gracious Heavens ! John," cried Atha, in alarm, 
" what can you mean ?" 

" I scarcely know myself, love ; my brain is, I fear, 
unsettled; but there is amid the wild confusion within me 
one idea more horribly distinct than every other, and 
that is, that I am now looking for the last time on Atha 
Aymor." 

" I now perceive," said Atha, " a great change in 
your appearance. My God ! how pale and haggard 
you are, and there is a wildness in your eye, which 
frightens me, even more than your strange and unintel- 
ligible language. Tell me, for Heaven's sake, what is 
the matter." 

" You see not, Atha, the stain of blood upon this 
hand ; yet this hand is bloody. All the waters of Broad 
River cannot wash it clean. A weight presses on my 
Conscience, scarcely less than if that huge rock, which 
juts out from the mountain side, rested upon it. A cold 
blooded murderer can never be the husband of Atha 
Aymor!" 

" Oh John ! your brain is disordered ; you are not 
a murderer," said the girl, shuddering, and shrinking 
instinctively from a bosom to which she had hitherto 
clung with confiding tenderness ; " I can never believe 
it." 

" Your kind heart, would, I doubt not, find much to 
plead in extenuation of my offence, did you know all, but 
no time is now allowed me for explanation. The avenger 



EONEGUSKI. 35 

of blood is behind me, Atha, and I know — yes, I know 
well, it would drive you to madness to see me perish 
before your eyes. But even your presence would be 
no security against my relentless pursuer. I came 
here to seek refuge among the haunts of my youth, 
until the storm should be overpast, but the fiend who 
maddened me to my ruin, hath deceived me even in this 
promise of safety. One of my pursuers has anticipated 
my arrival; I must leave you or die. Like the hunted 
deer, I must continue my flight, or fall a prey to the 
hunter, who is already on my very haunches. Breathe 
it not for many days to any human creature, lest it 
reach the ears of the fell Eoneguski, who would raise 
anew the yell of pursuit, and slake, in my blood, his 
thirst of vengeance. I have but just escaped from the 
deadly aim of his rifle, and would not that he should 
have the slightest clue to the track I have taken. To- 
wards thee, dearest, no pressure of adversity can ever 
change the feelings of my heart, but I must now fly 
for my life. May that Being who is the God of the 
Christian, and the Great Spirit of the Red man, and 
alike the Father of both, watch over and protect you." 
He imprinted a burning kiss on her speechless lips, 
and dived into the thickest of the forest. 

Overpowered by her feelings, Atha had sunk back 
into her seat during the last speech of Welch, in a state 
so far bordering on insensibility as to be unable to speak 
herself, while, at the same time, not a word was lost 
either to her ear or understanding of all that he uttered. 
Nor did she, in her mental conflict, offer any resistance 
to his proposed departure, but passively received his 
parting embrace, and silently gazed upon his receding 
form. When the last glimpse of his person had faded 
from her eye, she became distressingly conscious of the 
desolation of her condition. With him had departed 
from her the chief object of existence, and she was 
awfully waked up from a transient vision of happiness, 
leaving behind it a gloom tenfold thicker than that 
which it had for a moment displaced. But a few 



36 EONEGUSKI. 

moments since, and the presence of John Welch, she 
had fondly imagined was all that was wanting to com- 
plete her earthly happiness. The wish to see him had 
been most unexpectedly and suddenly fulfilled, but he 
seemed only to have come that he might extinguish, 
with his own hand, her little lamp of hope, which, 
with such careful anxiety, she had been kindling and 
trimming. He had come but to tell her, that he was 
unworthy of her love, and that unworthy as he was, 
each moment threatened, by a bloody death, to cut him 
off from reformation. " But why should I despair V 1 
she said, to herself, " all may yet be well ; his tender- 
ness of conscience may have construed an act of neces- 
-sary self-defence, into wilful murder. I will not for a 
moment believe him guilty, until a knowledge of the 
facts forces upon me the horrid conviction. And for 
his life, I will trust to that Being whose glance is in the 
sun-beam, and whose breath I feel in the air which 
surrounds me. He will preserve him, and yet bring 
him back to me unchanged, as he himself said, by the 
pressure of adversity." 

However men may differ in hours of prosperity, the 
hearts of all, when laden with afflictions, turn in- 
stinctively to Him who is alone able to bear them in 
their stead. And who has failed in thus turning, to 
find support to his fainting spirit? The lifting up of 
her thoughts towards Heaven, acted like magic upon 
both the mental feelings and physical strength of Atha 
Aymor, so that she found herself at once able to return 
to the dwelling of her father, and resume her labors 
with more composure than when she left it. 

In obedience to the injunction of Welch, she did not 
speak of having seen him ; but it was with difficulty she 
could repress a cry of horror whenever the Indian came 
into her presence. Exceedingly painful, then, were her 
feelings, when she heard her brother accept his propo- 
sal to meet him under the circumstances described in 
the last chapter. For an instant the thought came into 
her mind that she might use Gideon as an intercessor 



EONEGUSKI. 37 

between Welch and Eoneguski, but from the fear lest 
an awkward attempt to save her lover, might but in- 
crease his danger, she did not pursue it. And now her 
imagination pictured to itself her rash brother, welter- 
ing beneath the tomahawk of the incensed savage, of 
whose bloody propensities she had formed so horrid an 
estimate. She begged, she entreated Gideon, in every 
form of appeal she could think of, as soon as Eoneguski 
had left the house, to run after him and retract his im- 
prudent promise ; or, if he deemed it more safe, allow it 
for the present to allay the resentment of the Indian, 
without entertaining on his own part any serious pur- 
pose to fulfil it. But Gideon was a man not easily di- 
verted from his purposes, either by entreaties or threats ; 
and the same motives which impelled him so far to 
smother his pride, as to accept the invitation of the 
savage, backed, as it was, by a threat, were quite suffi- 
cient to render all the entreaties of his sister but as the 
breath of the breeze : the tears upon her cheek but as 
the dew upon the flower. 



VOL. I. 4. 



38 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Child of a race whose name my bosom warms, 

— how welcome here. 

Campbell. 

The morning fulfilled the promises of the preceding- 
evening, and the sun returned over the eastern moun- 
tain with a brightness equal to that in which he had 
descended behind the western. But he was met by a 
fierce westerly wind, which seemed determined to main- 
tain, for winter, a contest for the Homony Valley, with 
that powerful ally of spring, now approaching, with 
the evident purpose of establishing over it the domin- 
ion of the latter. This is not a contest to be decided in 
the brief space of a single day, but occupies, with 
varied success, weeks, if not months, in the region of 
which are speaking. Sometimes, the champion of 
spring comes forth in the morning, in his renewed 
strength, and the hoar frost and ice flakes, reflecting 
his ray, tell of the conquest of the enemy during his 
indolent absence. By mid-day the hoar frost, ascending 
in light vapor, and the little rills of water trickling 
away from the ice flakes, proclaim, that in spite of the 
northern and western blasts opposing him, he has re- 
gained all his losses of the night, and greatly weaken- 
ed the might of his antagonists. But towards evening 
his strength begins to faint, and he retires to refresh 
himself, leaving the field to the possession of his foes. 

It was one of those days of strife, thus mentioned, that 
Gideon, true to his appointment, set out a little after 
sun-rise, to the temporary home of Eoneguski. It was 
situated in a hollow, formed by nature in the side of the 
mountain, about two miles from Aymor's residence. No 
path or road lead to it; but he who now sought it 
was too well acquainted with the landmarks in its 



EONEGUSKI. 39 

vicinity to experience any difficulty in finding a place 
where he had often been before. A lodge of the sim- 
plest construction was formed, by piling up long pieces 
of oaken bark around the root of a large tree, weighted 
down by some heavier materials. The omission of a 
few pieces of bark, in front, left an opening, serving 
the purposes of a door, which, by a little accommo- 
dation of the person to its form, one could enter with- 
out much inconvenience. In front of this lodge Gideon 
discovered the Indian, busily engaged in the prepara- 
tion of a meal. He had just time to remove from the 
fire the food he was preparing, and place it upon a 
large log, when his guest arrived. Without any pre- 
vious salutation, " Eat" said the Indian, pointing to the 
food, and without permitting the fixed composure of 
his countenance to relax into a smile, " Eat, we are 
friends," in a tone of voice, compounded of assertion 
and interrogation. 

Whatever might have been the state of Gideon's ap- 
petite, he knew too much of the habits of the race to 
which his host belonged, to anticipate any friendly in- 
tercourse with him, should he decline his invitation to 
eat. He accordingly, without further ceremony, partook 
of a sufficiency of what was set before him, to satisfy 
the savage, rather than his own appetite. A gourd full 
of water was next brought by the Indian from a neigh- 
boring brook ; " Drink," said he, and Gideon drank. 
The host now gave two or three whiffs from a pipe, 
formed of clay, through a reed of considerable length, 
and handing it to his guest, " Smoke," said he. This 
being done, the savage ceremonial was completed. 

" What has the red man done to bring the cloud be- 
tween him and his white brother?" Eoneguski began. 
This was a puzzling question to Gideon ; and as his 
moral courage was not altogether equal to his physical, 
he shrunk from the difficulty, in obedience to the first 
impulse, but to add in his own experience to the num- 
berless proofs that the path of truth, however uninvi- 
ting at its entrance, is, after all, the easiest to tread,— * 



40 EONEGUSKI. 

" You have done nothing," he replied. 

" And does the white man take up and throw aside 
his friend, as the Indian does his blanket?" said Eone- 
guski, casting his own from him with indignation. 
" Will he put winter in his looks, as he passes by him, 
and tell him he hath done nothing? Let not the young 
man speak with a forked tongue." 

" You misunderstand me," said Gideon, stammering, 
and ashamed of his own subterfuge. " The white man 
does not cast off his friend without cause, nor is Gideon 
wont to speak with the tongue of falsehood. I said you 
had done nothing to offend me, Eoneguski, but if I have 
not misjudged the thoughts of your heart, they are 
deeply offensive to me." 

44 Look upon the heart of Eoneguski,'' said the sav- 
age, w for he carries it in his hand, and show me the 
black spot which is offensive to Gideon." 

" I am almost ashamed to ask you the question," re- 
plied Gideon, " But tell me, have you not cast an eye 
of presumptuous love upon my sister?" 

" Now you have spoken like a man," said the In- 
dian, taking him eagerly by the hand, " for you have 
spoken according to your thought, and not with the 
false tongue of the deceiver. The red man has dared 
to look upon the beautiful daughter of the white man — 
and why may he not ? — Are mine eyes forbidden to 
drink in the glorious radiance of the sun, or to gaze 
with delight upon the moon, when she touches with 
her beam, the mountain of my birth? — I know that they 
are far beyond the reach of this arm, and no desire to 
possess them disquiets me when I behold them. With 
no other eye have I looked upon the lovely daughter of 
Aymor, and no desire hath kindled in my soul when I 
beheld her. The love of Eoneguski is far away, with 
one of the daughters of his own people. Are you sa- 
tisfied ?" 

" I confess that I have wronged you," replied Gide- 
on, after a pause, " and 1 crave your pardon. But as I 
have thus far trespassed upon you, allow me to go one 



EONEGtJSKI. 41 

step farther. — Why have you so long been wandering 
in this vicinity? And why were you so much disquiet- 
ed when I spoke of my sister's love affairs with John 
Welch?" 

"Freedom," replied the Indian, proudly, "is the 
birth-right of the red man. He wanders as free as the 
bird which sits on yonder bough, wheresoever it pleases 
him. He tells not his own, and he asks not another 
for his path. But I am ready to satisfy you, if you 
will first tell me all that you know of John Welch, and 
the story of your sisters love." 

" Your terms are but reasonable," replied Gideon, 
"and I am ready to comply with them." 

The Indian reclined himself upon the log which had 
lately been their table, and listened to Gideon, who pro- 
ceeded as follows : — - 

gideon's story. 

" What I am about to relate, is rather what I have 
heard from others, than what I have myself actually 
witnessed; but I can avouch for its truth with no less 
certainty. More ( than twenty years ago, (you have no 
doubt heard, and may perhaps remember,) the place 
where we now sit, with all the country around, even 
for many miles eastwardly of the Blue Mountains, was 
subject to the invasion of the Cherokee Indians. The 
white man could not lie down at evening in safety, nor 
go out in the morning to his daily labor without appre- 
hension. Behind each log and thicket the enemy of 
his race laid in ambush, and the report of the rifle, or 
the glitter of the tomahawk, gave the first intimation of 
the fate they bore. The stillness of his midnight re- 
pose was suddenly broken by the war-whoop, and a light 
more glaring than that of the sun, burst upon his eyes 
from the consuming rafters of his dwelling. His own 
destruction would but follow that of his wife and little 
ones, whose reeking scalps were torn away, or then: 
brains dashed out before his eyes. 
4* 



42 EONEGUSKI. 

" My father then dwelt in the valley of the Yadkin, 
beyond the Bine Mountains, and the Brushy Hills some 
distance above, where that river sweeps around, and 
seems to turn disdainfully off from the Pilot Mountain, 
standing in its solitary grandeur, and catching for leagues 
in every direction, the eye of the traveller. He was then 
a youth, something about my present age, residing in the 
house of my grandfather. Our people were beset on 
every hand — from the east, the British soldiers, and, 
what was worse, the Tories, were pouring in, killing 
and destroying them ; and from the west were continu- 
al alarms of destruction by the Indians. Like brave 
men, our people determined to look the danger in the 
face, and overcome it, or fall beneath it. Whilst others 
were left to do what they could with the British and 
Tories, General Rutherford marched with about two 
thousand volunteers, to break up the Indian settlements 
in this vicinity. My father was among the followers 
of General Rutherford, and delights, even to this day, 
to tell of the hardships of that campaign. But the 
deed was done — retribution was taken — for every drop 
of white blood shed by the Indians, they were compelled 
to yield at least ten from their own veins, and slaughter, 
not less cruel than their own, was visited upon them. — 
Their houses were burnt — their fields ravaged — and 
their wives and little ones experienced as little respect 
or pity for age or sex, as they themselves had been ac- 
customed to shew. 

" Among the volunteers who fought under General 
Rutherford, was one John Welch, one of the most 
reckless and daring of them all. One day, while 
they were engaged in the destruction of an Indian 
village, amid the blaze of a consuming wigwam, lie 
heard the plaintive cries of a child. He rushed im- 
petuously forward among the crackling flames, and 
speedily returned, bearing in his arms a little boy, 
about two years of age, somewhat scorched it was 
true, but, to all appearance, not materially injured. — 
The child threw his arms fondly around the neck of 



EONEGUSKI. 43 

his deliverer, kissed him, and manifested in every way 
of which he was capable, the liveliest gratitude. k If it 
is an Indian,' said Welch, ' I'll take care of it;' and his 
rugged heart was evidently waked up to new feelings, 
by the innocent fondness of the child. The long straight 
black hair, the eyes, and the place where it was found, 
all indicated for it an Indian descent ; but a spriteliness 
and delicacy of feature, and fairness of complexion, 
never found among the aboriginal savages, proclaimed 
a decided predominance of European blood. This, 
upon closer examination, did not fail to strike his deli- 
verer, and as his belief in the preponderance of white 
blood in his protege increased, so did the feeling, so 
nearly allied to parental affection, towards him. In 
fine, he adopted the foundling, and, for the want of a 
name, furnished him with his own, and shared with 
him his couch and fare; bearing him with him on his 
return to the settlements. 

" The army had on its march homewards, repassed 
the Blue Mountains, and was making its way across the 
Brushy Hills, at the most practicable point. It had halted 
near the summit for refreshment, when John Welch was 
told that one of the Indian prisoners was dying, and 
wished to see him, and also desired that he would bring 
with him the child he had rescued from the flames. 
Welch immediately obeyed the summons, and hasten- 
ing towards the front of the encampment, where the 
prisoners were, found an aged Indian lying upon a 
blanket, apparently in the last agony. A large sword 
gash in his side, which had been sewed up, but from 
which the blood continually oozed, was the obvious 
cause of his present condition, and, to all human appear- 
ance, his death warrant. Several other prisoners, of 
both sexes, were hovering over him, with apparent soli- 
citude, and it was evident from their manner, as well as 
from his own costume and appearance, that he was their 
chief. As soon as the child saw the aged warrior he 
sprang from the arms of Welch, and flew towards him, 
uttering an Indian exclamation, which maybe rendered 



44 EONEGUSKI. 

'papa;' and began to caress him fondly. The Indian, 
seemingly, regardless of the endearments of the child, 
cast his languid eye upon Welch, and addressed him in 
a feeble tone of voice. ' Stranger,' he said, ' thou hast 
come at the bidding of Toleniska, and it is well, for the 
voice of Toleniska shall be heard no more; he has hated 
the white man with a hatred which has never slumbered, 
although the blood of the white man has mingled its 
pale stream with the dark current which rolls through 
the veins of Toleniska. The fields where I have lain 
in ambush on his steps, are thick in yonder valley, 
whereon I now look proudly down, from my bed of 
death. Number the hairs of your own head, and then 
may you tell the scalps which Toleniska has borne 
away from your nation. But you came not to hear the 
death song of Toleniska. — It was to be the first white 
man to whom the proud heart of Toleniska w T ould allow 
him to say, ' I thank you.' You might have saved my 
wigwam from destruction — you might have rescued 
Toleniska himself from the grasp of the tormentors, 
and his heart would have been firm as the rock upon 
this mountain side. But you have snatched from the 
flames the pale blossom of his love, and the heart of 
Toleniska is melted. He thought that his darling had 
perished with the hundreds of brave warriors who fell 
fighting for their wives, their children, and the graves 
of their fathers. It is but now that he heard that the 
white man had saved him at the hazard of his own life. 
Go ! — cherish the being thou hast saved, and the Great 
Spirit will reward thee. Toleniska is hastening to join 
his fathers in the hunting grounds of the blessed.' The 
Indian drew the corner of his blanket over his face, 
and, for a time, all was stillness around him. At length 
one ventured to remove the blanket — and Toleniska was 
no more. He was buried by the direction of the Gene- 
ral upon the side of the trail which crosses it at the very 
top of the mountain, and there the remains of his grave 
are yet to be seen ; from whence that passage over the 
Brushy Hills is called the Indian Grave Gap. 



EONEGUSKI. 45 

" Upon the confines of what was then the white set- 
tlement, General Rutherford erected for its protection 
against the invasion of the Indians, a fort, which was call- 
ed Fort Defiance." (We interrupt for a moment the 
story of Gideon, to inform the reader, that the remains of 
this fort are yet to be seen in Wilkes County, upon the 
plantation of General Lenoir, a time-worn and venerable 
remnant of the brave spirits who constituted the army 
of General Rutherford, in which he held a distinguish- 
ed rank. The fort occupies the brow of a hill, over- 
looking, for many miles, in a northwardly and east- 
wardly direction, the valley of the Yadkin ; and behind, 
the position of the fort in every other direction, stretches 
out an extensive plain, of very fertile land, so as to leave 
no elevation in its vicinity by which the fort itself could 
be commanded. To return to the story of Gideon.) 
" As soon as Welch's tour of duty was accomplished, 
he settled in the neighborhood of Fort Defiance, and 
shortly after wards married, but as they were not bless- 
ed with children of their own, all that store of parental 
love, which nature has so kindly provided in the human 
heart, was expended by Welch and his wife upon their 
orphan charge. Nor was their kindness illy repaid, 
for never was child more dutiful or affectionate to real 
parents than he was to them, nor were advantages often 
more diligently improved than did the boy those afford- 
ed him. 

" My father did not return so soon as Welch from 
the Indian expedition ; when he did, however, he found 
that my grandfather also had removed into the vicinity 
of Fort Defiance. Here my father did not remain 
long, until he courted and married my mother. I was 
born, and, in process of time, my sister .Atha. A 
close intimacy existed between the families of Welch 
and my father, and there was scarcely a day that some 
member of the one was not at the house of the other, 
mingling together both in sports and labors. Veiy 
soon Atha, although several years younger than Welch, 
became his favorite companion, and was evidently re- 



46 EONEGUSKI. 

garded by him with all that tender solicitude which 
would have well become an elder brother. Her little 
sorrows it was his highest pleasure to allay, as well as 
to furnish amusements for her gayer hours." Gideon 
paused. — " There is a melancholy pleasure in looking 
back upon those days," he said, "and even now my 
mind is so occupied with the thoughts which crowd in 
upon it, that I feel inclined to pause in my story, and 
indulge myself in these recollections. Look," conti- 
nued he, pointing to the most distant spot in the valley, 
of which they commanded an extensive view, " See 
how beautiful from the blue mist which covers it, is that 
spot above all others before us ; perhaps there is some- 
thing like this in the feeling with which we look back 
upon past events — the more distant, the more lovely 
and interesting do they appear to the memory. What- 
ever may be the cause, there is no period of my own 
existence, of which the retrospect is so pleasant, as that 
in which some few prominent facts stand forth among 
the dim shadows of those which have nearly faded 
from my recollection. 

" But I will proceed: — 

" Many years had not passed away, before, to persons 
of the habits of my father, the neighborhood of Fort De- 
fiance became an old settlement. Cottages began to 
gather thickly around him, and the range ceased to be 
sufficiently extensive for the herds of cattle which claimed 
from it their support. About this time the Indian boun- 
dary was prescribed by an act of the Congress of the 
United States, and my father found that the red men 
must yield these hills and vallies to the possession of 
the whites. He was not ignorant of the advantages of 
being among the first to pasture his cattle upon a range 
iresh from the hands of nature, and he accordingly 
moved to the place where you now see him. The 
very spot where his improvements are, caught his eye, 
(at a time when, but little hope remained to him of life, 
any where,) as a lovely scene of retirement, where, 
with his family about him, a herdsman might enjoy 



fiONEGtfSKt. 47 

every comfort the world could afford. Hither he was 
very soon followed by some of his former neighbors, 
and among others, by Welch. 

" Whether Welch and his wife were at all influenced 
by the circumstance, I will not say, but I have under- 
stood, that after we had moved away from Fort Defi- 
ance, the boy John lost his spirits, and became pale and 
sickly. If that was so he found something wonderfully 
restorative in the waters of the Homony, for I remem- 
ber him soon after his arrival here, a handsome and 
hearty boy. His disposition was in perfect accordance 
with his handsome exterior, but all his endowments, as 
well of mind as of body, seemed to be valued by him 
only so far as they might commend him to Atha Ay- 
mor. The most skilful marksman in the neighborhood, 
the best of his game was always for her, and when 
amongst the smooth stones of the Homony he would 
occasionally seize a fine mountain trout, it was much 
too good for any one besides. Is it to be wondered at, 
if attentions so kind and persevering, made an impres- 
sion upon her who was their object % 

" When Atha had entered her fourteenth year, a 
change of manner, which had been almost impercepti- 
bly stealing on, became distinctly marked towards John 
Welch. There was no longer that easy freedom here- 
tofore characterizing their intercourse, but, on the con- 
trary, she was embarrassed and shy whenever he 
came into her presence, and blushed and turned pale 
by turns when his name was mentioned. Thus mat- 
ters continued for some years longer, and, I believe, 
no one irr the neighborhood doubted that a match was 
one day to take place between them. Welch was the 
reputed only child of his parents, and, although they 
could not boast of wealth, their circumstances were easy, 
and his Indian tinge was scarcely sufficient to have 
been thought of by the most scrupulous, as any ob- 
jection. Indeed, if his complexion could have been 
changed in the slightest degree, it would have de- 
tracted from his comeliness. Neither my father nor 



48 EONEGUSKI. 

mother took any notice of the report in circulation, 
and whether they ever heard it I know not, but they 
said nothing about it, nor was any effort made to dimi- 
nish the intercourse between the families. 

" Every thing appeared to be going on smoothly until 
& few months since, when John ventured to make pro- 
posals to my father for marriage with my sister. As 
calm as you see my father in common, Eoneguski, he is 
terrible when roused. You are no stranger to the fury 
of the hurricane — and it is not often, but I have now 
and then, seen m}r father in a tempest of passion, when 
I would rather encounter a hurricane than meet him. 
One of those occasions was when Welch first dared to 
avow to him his love for my sister. It seemed to me as 
if my father towered a foot or two above his ordinary 
height, — his teeth and fists clenched forcibly — his eyes 
seemed ready to burst from their sockets, and, for an in- 
stant, rested wildly upon his rifle, which lay quietly 
upon the crotchets above the door. ' And is it come 
to this,' said he, when he could find utterance, 4 that I 
am to see my blood mingled with that of a Cherokee 

Indian 1 D n seize me if I would not sooner tear 

out your savage heart with my own hands — Talk to me 
of love. — Begone! this instant, or by my soul it will be 
but adding another to the miserable miscreants of your 
tribe which these hands have slaughtered! Begone, 
I say, and if ever you suffer me to lay eyes on you 
again, wo be to your life.' The tumult attracted us 
all to the place, but we knew too well the mood of the 
man with whom we had to do, to venture the breathing 
a word in behalf of him whom we all loved, and now 
so sincerely pitied. As soon as he had collected him- 
self from the first shock of his surprise, Welch left the 
house, and the door was closed forcibly after him by my 
father, who strode up and down like a lion. The 
first symptom of returning composure was a glance 
of anxious inquiry towards the bed, where Atha had 
thrown herself in an agony of emotion. Next, his 
motions became less rapid, and, finally, settled down 



EONEOUSKI. 49 

into a pretty quiet walk, until stopping near the bed 
where Atha was almost unconsciously undergoing the 
solicitous efforts of my mother to soothe her, 'Atha,' 
said he, ' you need fear nothing from my violence to 
John Welch,' and left the house. 

" He was a good while absent, and when he re- 
turned, was apparently composed, but still silent and 
thoughtful, and every now and then I perceived an 
expression of anguish pass across his countenance, 
which made me shudder; for, in spite of myself, the 
thought was forced upon my mind, that he had com- 
mitted some violence upon John Welch, if he had not 
actually put him to death. But mine, I believe, was the 
only brain into which the dark suspicion ever came. 
In a day or two my father began to speak to his family 
in his wonted manner, and there was even an increased 
tenderness in his tone of voice whenever he addressed 
Atha. Shortly afterwards we learned that the very next 
morning after his interview with my father Welch 
had taken a formal leave of his parents, and gone — no 
one knew whither. Since then my sister Atha has 
been like a drooping flower, and, though Welch's name 
has been but seldom mentioned among us, it is evident 
that my father's feelings have undergone a great change 
towards him ; and on the very night on which you paid 
us your first visit, he had gone so far as to tell Atha, 
that if John Welch ever returned, of which he seemed 
to have great hopes, she might become his wife. 

" I believe my part of our compact is now fulfilled," 
said Gideon, throwing himself in his turn into the atti- 
tude of a listener. 



VOL, I. 5. 



50 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER V. 

Oh ! hast thou, Christian Chief, forgot the morn 
When I with thee the cup of peace did share ; 
Then stately was this head, and dark this hair 
That now is white as Apalachia's snows. 

Campbell. 

It were impossible to describe the emotions of the 
savage during the recital of Gideon, many parts of 
which were not so new to him as the speaker supposed. 
But he forbore to interrupt the thread of the narrative 
by any exclamation or inquiry, nor did he allow his 
countenance to betray aught of what was passing with- 
in him. For some time after the narrator had ceased, 
he remained silent; perhaps pondering what he had 
heard, or, probably, recollecting himself for the per- 
formance of his own task. At length, perceiving in 
his companion some marks of impatience, he pro- 
ceeded : — 

EONEGUSKl's STORY. 

" I remember, although more than two hundred and 
fifty moons have since passed away, when the father of 
Gideon came to Eonee, the captive of mine." A scowl 
of displeasure began to gather upon the countenance of 
Gideon. " Let not the storm gather on thy brow," said 
Eoneguski, " but listen to my story, as I have done to 
thine. The people cried aloud for vengeance, and 
demanded that the prisoner should be given to the tor- 
mentors. Their hearts were furious for the wigwams 
which the fire had devoured — for the women and chil- 
dren whose blood had been drank by the long knives of 
the white men — and for their young men and warriors 
whose bones lay in heaps on the Tuckasege, at Bay's 



EONEGUSKI. 51 

Town. * Give us,' said they, ' give us up the *Skiagusta 
of the white men, that we may spill his blood, and give 
his body to the flames : and the spirits of our slaugh- 
tered kinsmen shall be pacified.' 

" I crept to the knees of my father, and he bent his 
ear to the voice of his son : — ' Let the stranger go,' I 
said, — ' Give him not up to the fury of the tormentors.' 

" ' Foolish boy,' said Eonah, ' would you have me 
give freedom to the enemy whom the Great Spirit has 
delivered into my hands V 

" ' The Great Spirit hath delivered him into your 
hands, my father,' I said, ' but it is that you may make 
of him an offering of peace for your tribe. The fOe- 
woehee are few, and scattered like the leaves on yon 
wide spreading tree, when they have been touched by the 
early frost, and shaken by the blasts of autumn. The 
white men are as countless as the leaves on every tree 
on the Cowee Mountain. Why should the Oewoehee 
war with them, until they themselves have altogether 
perished from the earth, like the leaves in winter ? Let 
the Skiagusta go, and he shall speak words of peace to 
his people for the Oewoehee.' 

" • Hush !' said the chief of Eonee. 

" • Has Eoneguski ever before asked anything of his 
father V I said. 

" ' No !' replied the chief. 

•"And shall his first request be denied him?' If 
the white man perishes, let the chief of Eonee prepare 
to heap the stones on the body of his son.' 

" I saw that Eoneguski had triumphed over the 
hitherto unconquered spirit of his father. — Eonah bade 
the people go, and when the next sun should rise he 
would hearken to them again. 

" When we three were left alone in the wigwam, 

* Skiagusta is a common Indian expression for any sort 
of a great man. 

tOewoehee, title borne by the Cherokee tribe amongst them- 
selves. 



52 EONEGUSKI. 

• Stranger,' said the chief, ' the papoos has saved the 
life of the white Skiagusta. Eonah has turned a 
deaf ear to the voice of his people, requiring thee 
to be given up to the tormentors, and hath listened 
to his son, who demands that you may be allowed to 
depart to your own people. Go ! and when you see 
the war cloud gathering in fury against the red men, 
remember that the Cherokee did not strike when he 
might.' 

"' The white man is not ungrateful,' said your father, 
' and in him from henceforth the red man will find a 
friend. Tell the Cherokee, when he wanders from his 
tribe, across the Blue Mountains, to inquire for Robert 
Aymor. And may the Great Spirit bless the chief and 
his son, who have looked in pity on their white brother, 
for we are all His children. The heart of the white 
mans mother will rejoice when she looks upon her son, 
and in gratitude to his deliverers, will think no more of 
the blood of her race which has been shed by their tribe, 
and her spirit will bless the Cherokee people.' 

" ' Here is your shot-pouch and rifle,' said Eonah, 
' the white man shall not go away defenceless. The 
way is long to the settlements, and he would perish 
without a rifle to provide him with game, for he dare 
not seek for food in the wigwams of the Oewoehee.' 

" ' The rifle is yours,' said Aymor, ' it is yours by 
right of conquest' 

" ' I know it is mine,' said my father, ' but the Eonee 
chief has given the white man his life ; and is the white 
man too proud to accept a gift from one of whom he 
has not been ashamed to accept his life V 

" ' God forbid,' said Aymor, ' I do not disdain your 
gifts, but I would that my red brother should keep them 
in memory of him who is so largely his debtor, and as 
a token by which the Eonee chief, should he ever re- 
quire them, either for himself or another, may demand 
the services of Robert Aymor, or any of his blood, even 
at the hazard of life.' 



EONEGUSKI. 53 

" ' It shall be as you say,' replied the chief of Eonee, 
• but my white brother must take in their stead the rifle 
and shot-pouch of Eonah. 1 

" ' You shall now see,' said Aymor, ' that the white 
man disdains not the gift of his red brother. I accept 
it joyfully, and pledge myself that arms hitherto so 
gallantly borne by Eonah, shall not be disgraced in the 
hand of his pale brother.' 

" ' Go !' said my father, ' it is enough.' 

" ' Many hundred moons ago,' said Aymor. ' my 
fathers came across the great blue waters. Before 
leaving his native land it was the fortune of one whose 
blood is in my veins, to perform an action which distin- 
guished him in the eyes of a great lord, whom he 
served, and for which it was his pleasure to give him a 
chain of silver. In all the changes of fortune the pride 
of the family has preserved this chain, and it fell at last 
into the hands of my father, who wore it appended to 
an old family watch. When I set out on this expedition, 
1 Robert,' said my father, ' you are now going to tread 
the path of honor, as many of your fathers have done 
before you. Should it be your lot, my gallant boy, 
to fall on the battle field, let this watch and chain 
be found on your person, that it may be seen it is no 
common clown who lies on the bed of glory.' When 
you made me a prisoner, Eonah, you deprived me of 
the watch, but to guard against accidents, I had separa- 
ted the chain from it, and concealed it so effectually that 
insensible as I was at the time, you did not find it. I 
do not mention this to reproach you for taking the 
watch ; — it is yours, and you are welcome to it, among 
the other remembrances of your white brother : but the 
chain is mine, and I may bestow it as I choose. It 
cannot leave the family in whose possession it has been 
for so many generations, more worthily than as an of- 
fering of gratitude to the noble boy, whom I shall ever 
remember as the preserver of my life.' So saying, he 
threw the chain over my neck, where it now hangs as 
you see." As he uttered this, Eoneguski opened his 



54 EONEGUSKI. 

hunting shirt, with an air of satisfaction, and disclosed 
to Gideon the trophy of his youthful humanity. 

" My father," continued Eoneguski, " was both sur- 
prised and confused. ' The watch is here,' he said, 'it 
is yours, — say not a word, for it will make the father of 
my white brother sad, and he will think meanly of 
Eonah, when he hears that he has robbed his son of 
his watch. Here take it — Now go — There is peace 
between us.' 

" ' He must not go,' I said, ' until the dark shadow 
comes down upon the earth, or how shall he escape the 
hands of his enemies?' 

" ' Hath not Eonah bid him go V said the chief, ' and 
who shall dare to gainsay the words of Eonah.' 

" ' Pardon me, my father,' I said, ' but you know 
that the Oewoehee do not always hearken to the voice 
of their chief, and they are now thirsty for vengeance. 
Let the Skiagusta remain quiet in the wigwam until the 
shadows come down from the Nantahala Mountains, 
and then may he escape in safety.' 

" ' Be it as you will,' said Eonah. 

" I bade the white man lie down in the corner of the 
wigwam, and covered him with the skin of a buffaloe. 
' Sleep,' said I, ' for to night the Skiagusta must tra- 
vel for his life. When all is still in Eonee, and the red 
men sleep in quiet, I will come, and you shall fly away, 
like a bird escaping from the snare.' 

"Scarcely had I left speaking with the white man, 
when the people once more gathered in a crowd, and 
demanded that he should be given up to them. 

" ' It shall not be,' said my father, ' Eonah hath said 
that the white man shall live.' 

'"We will not listen to the voice of Eonah,' said one 
amongst the crowd, ' the white man shall die.' 

" ' Chuheluh is right,' said a hundred voices, * we 
will not listen to the voice of Eonah — the white man 
shall die.' 

" Chuheluh had always aspired to rival Eonah with 
the people, and become the chief of Eonee. But he 



EONEGUSKI. 55 

had never been able to win the hearts of the people 
from their chief. Many times was it in the power of 
Eonah to destroy Chuheluh, (the Fox,) but Eonah, (the 
Bear,) said he scorned to make war upon the Fox. 
But this did not prevent Chuheluh from continuing his 
efforts to stir up the people; and it was he who now 
urged them to come back and insist that the captive 
should at once be delivered up to them. 

" ' If the white man dies,' replied my father, ' Eonah 
dies with him. Can the Fox take the life of the 
Bear?' 

" 'The Fox loves the Bear too well,' replied the cun- 
ning Chuheluh, 'to take away his life; but the banks 
of the Tuckasege are smoking with the blood of the 
Oewoehee, and the spirits of our slaughtered warriors 
are crying for vengeance.' 

" ' The Great Spirit has told me,' replied Eonah, 
' that the white man must live. You say well, Chu- 
heluh, that the banks of the Tuckasege are smoking 
with the blood of the Oewoehee; — its very waves are 
rolling red with it to the father of waters. But must 
the blood of the Oewoehee continue to flow, until its 
fountains are dried up % Must the war cloud continue 
to pour down its torrents, until they sweep us away from 
trie earth 1 And who shall turn away the anger of the 
white man from the Oewoehee ? Eonah has sent the 
white Skiagusta to speak words of peace to his peo- 
ple.' 

" ' The tongue of Eonah is like my two fingers,' said 
Chuheluh, extending the two middle ringers of his right 
hand, separated as far as possible. 

" ' The Fox is ever a liar,' said Eonah. 

" ' I will see,' said Chuheluh, 'if the Fox is more 
given to falsehood than the Bear;' and advanced to- 
wards the door of the wigwam, with the purpose of 
entering to search for the stranger. 

"'Chuheluh passes not the threshold of Eonah alive,' 
said my father, sternly. 

" « It is well ;' said Chuheluh. He looked behind 



56 EONEGUSKI. 

him, and perceived that his followers, who had been 
gradually dropping away during the conversation, were 
reduced to a very small number. Soon these also de- 
parted, and were quickly followed by himself. 

" All was now quiet in Eonee, and, in a few hours, 
Aymor, hidden by the shadow of the night, had left the 
wigwam of Eonah." 

The Indian paused in his story, and casting his eye 
upon the face of Gideon, endeavored to read in it the 
impression made upon his mind by the incidents reci- 
ted. Perhaps even a bosom like his was not exempt 
from that amiable weakness which is gratified by the 
approbation of our fellow-men; and counts on meeting 
it as a matter of course, whenever conscience whis- 
pers, " You have done well." If so, he doubtless ex- 
pected to read, in the countenance of his companion, 
some lively indication of gratitude towards the preser- 
ver of his father. Possibly his expectations may have 
gone so far as even to have prepared him for some pas- 
sionate expression of grateful feeling on the part of his 
guest, whose race he knew possessed not that philosophic 
apathy of manner which marked his own. It may be, 
that his own feelings were deeply stirred by a recur- 
rence to these interesting passages of his early life. 
But whatever may have been his reason, the Indian 
paused — nor was the silence interrupted by any remark 
from his auditor, 



:oneguski. 57 



CHAPTER VI. 

And hast thou then forgot ? he cried, forlorn, 
And ey'd the group with half indignant air. 

Campbell. 

The dark eye of the Indian glided from the face of 
Gideon, and gathering his blanket about him in closer 
folds, he heaved a sigh, and proceeded — 

" Time passed away, and we occasionally heard of 
Aymor, as one in whom the Cherokee always found a 
friend, but nothing occurred to bring him and either 
Eonah or his son together. At length the Indian boy 
became a young man, and was allowed to mingle 
among the men of his tribe. He chased the deer, the 
elk, the buffaloe, and the bear, and hunted his game 
from the White Mountains, where the sun sinks to rest 
in the evening, to the Blue Mountains which feel the 
first of his rising beams ; — from the Unaca Mountains 
from whence the cold blasts sweep down in winter, to 
the warm banks of the Chatugaja where the song of 
the bird tells earliest of summer. As you pass from 
Eonee to the Chatugaja, Sugar Town and Tesumtoe 
are on your path. At both these places would Eone- 
guski sometimes linger, and mingle in the dance with 
their young men and maidens. You will not wonder 
to hear that the daughters of the Oewoehee are lovely 
in the eyes of Eoneguski — lovelier by far than the fair- 
est daughters of the white man." Gideon smiled. 
" Nay," said Eoneguski, "it is so; but amongst them 
all he has seen none to match the Little Deer of Tesum- 
toe. She is the light of the eyes — the star of the hopes 
of Eoneguski. Not a moon has passed away until 
now, since he first beheld her, that he has not flown 
upon the wings of Love from Eonee to Tesumtoe, to 



58 EONEGUSKI. 

listen to the music of her voice, and look upon her 
beauty. The best of his venison and the choicest of 
his furs and buffaloe skins, have been laid at her feet; — 
nor hath the Little Deer refused the presents of Eone- 
guski. A few moons more and he will give her venison, 
and she will give him bread, and he will lead her to his 
wigwam, and thus, according to the customs of our peo- 
ple, she will become his wife. Then will the heart of 
Eoneguski rejoice, and Gideon shall be there to share 
the joy of his friend." 

The ordinary quiet of the Indian's features was bro- 
ken by a smile, expressive of the most pleasurable anti- 
cipations, but it was evanescent as those joys are wont to 
be which stir the smiles of mortals, and he continued — 

41 One day as I was returning to Eonee from a visit 
to Tesumtoe, I arrived at Sugar Town, and saw a 
crowd of people gathered thick together, as you have 
seen the buzzards in the dusk of the evening upon 
the branches of a dead tree ; and, like them, the people 
were still pouring in from every direction. I made my 
way towards the groupe of persons, and all seemed to 
give way in consternation before me, as though I had 
been some evil spirit. It was in vain that I called to 
them, and begged to know the cause of the tumult. The 
more I called, the more alarmed the people became, and 
the more rapidly did they flee before me. When at 
length I reached the place where the crowd had been 
the thickest, no one remained but a single squaw, seated 
on the ground, and a man lying with his head in her 
lap, whose spirit appeared to be passing away. He was 
speechless, and she was wiping away, with a piece 
of coarse cloth, the bloody froth continually oozing 
from between his lips. I now saw that his head was 
mashed terribly, and a bloody war-club lying near him, 
was evidently the instrument with which it had been 
done. I recognised in the dying man the Leech, one of 
the people of Eonee, and of my own blood. - 

" ' Whose hand is red with this deed V 1 inquired. 

" ' The hand of John Welch,' replied the woman. 



EONEGUSKI. 59 

" 4 Where is the murderer V I asked. 

'* ■ He has returned to the white settlements ;' was 
her reply. 

"By this time the Leech had ceased to breathe, 

" ' Let him be buried,' I said, ' as a brave man should, 
or the people of Eonee will lay the wigwams of Sugar 
Town in ashes. I fly on the wings of vengeance to 
overtake the murderer.' " 

We must interrupt the story, (that the reader may the 
better understand it,) to explain a law, or rather custom, 
of the Oewoehee. When one Indian kills another, if 
they belong to the same town, it is the right of every 
member of the same family with the deceased, unless the 
killing is altogether accidental, to pursue the murderer 
to death, and the whole family is disgraced if no member 
of it avenges the blood of his fallen brother. As long 
as the murderer himself can be reached, it is supposed 
that he will be the victim most acceptable to the spirit 
of the deceased ; and therefore he is preferred, and pub- 
lic opinion requires that he should be selected. If, 
however, he cannot be had, it is no uncommon thing 
for some other member of the same family to be sacri- 
ficed. The same law and custom, which allow and 
require the relations of the first deceased to avenge his 
death, authorize and demand of the relations of the 
victim of this vengeance, in like manner, to seek satis- 
faction, and so on forever, until so much blood has been 
spilt that the chiefs and people are induced to interfere 
and prohibit the farther continuance of the fued. The 
same law and custom which obtain between families of 
the same town, obtain also between different towns, 
making the right and duty of revenge coextensive with 
the township itself, although the claims of each indivi- 
dual to become the avenger, are not equal ; but right 
is reserved in regular gradation for the nearest rela- 
tions or most dignified persons. It was for this reason, 
when the people of Sugar Town recognised in Eone- 
guski an Eonee, that, not knowing with what zeal and 
violence he might urge his right of vengeance for his 



60 EONEGUSKI. 

slaughtered kinsman, or whom he might choose for his 
victim, they prudently fled from him. 

" Every Cherokee honors and respects the laws and 
customs of his people, and is bound to comply with 
them," continued Eoneguski. "As almost an eye wit- 
ness of the transaction, as a relation of the deceased, 
and, above all, as the son of the chief, no one was so 
much bound as myself to avenge the blood of the 
Leech, upon his murderer. I therefore determined to 
pursue him, leaving to the people of Sugar Town, under 
the threatened vengeance of the Eonee, to give to my 
kinsman the burial of a brave man. Never before had 
Eoneguski thirsted for blood. But he knew that Welch 
had been brought up in the white settlements, and that 
but little of the red man's blood warmed his heart. 
1 He has risen upon the Leech,' something whispered in 
my ear, • because of the ancient grudge of the white 
man against the red, and, like an evil spirit, has stirred 
anew the half forgotten strife between the people of 
Eonee and Sugar Town.' 

"Many moons ago Cheasquah, (or the Bird,) one of 
the people of Sugar Town, and the Leech drank together, 
until the Leech grew drunk and angry, and took away 
the life of the Bird. For a long time the people of 
Sugar Town pursued the Leech, and thirsted for re- 
venge — at length the spirit of vengeance slumbered, 
and they suffered him to come quietly home, and we all 
thought that the tomahawk was buried. It was after 
this time that Welch left the stream of the Homony 
and came into the Indian country, and talked of his 
Cherokee blood — and said that he had left forever 
the house of the white man, to spread his blanket in 
the wigwam of the red. He knew not which of the 
many families of the Cherokees had poured into his 
heart the drop of red blood ; but he joined himself to the 
people of Sugar Town, and they received him among 
them as a scion of their stock, and he became the son 
of their chief Santuchee. He mingled with the Eonee, 
and was not a stranger to Eoneguski. He sometimes 



EONEGUSKI. 61 

spoke of the stream and mountains of the Homony, 
with a sigh, while an expression of melancholy delight 
sat upon his countenance : and I knew that his heart 
was beside its waters, and that to them he would return 
whenever some cause of temporary exile should have 
passed away. When he fled from the smoking blood 
of the Leech, thither I was certain he would be drawn 
by a power he could no more resist than could a 
feather from the eagle's wing the impulse of the storm. 
Obedient to the customs of my people, thither I de- 
termined to pursue his steps, and while he fancied 
himself secure from the red man's vengeance, over- 
take him with slow, though it might be, but the certain 
advance of fate. 

" My path from Sugar Town to Homony lay past 
Eonee, and there I stopped for a night to lay open my 
heart to Eonah, and consult with him — for words of 
wisdom fall from the lips of age. 

" Eonah gave his blessing to his son, and called 
upon the Great Spirit that he might return with his 
hand red with the blood of the Leech. * The dwel- 
ling of the white man, Eoneguski,' he said, * whom 
you saved from the tormentors, is where he can hear 
the soft murmurs of the Homony when it sparkles 
in the sun of summer, and the loud dash of its cata- 
racts when it pours them down swollen with the floods 
of winter. If difficulties should beset your path — 
should winter come upon you with unwonted fierce- 
ness, or sickness take away the strength of the young 
warrior, call upon my pale brother to redeem his pledge. 
Take with you his own rifle and shot-pouch, and let 
him look upon them, and the chain of white metal, 
which he cast about your neck, and we shall see 
whether any thing but falsehood is to be found amongst 
the pale faces. But try not the strength of your 
staff, my son, while your own limbs are able to sup- 
port you — bring not old things to remembrance, unless 
necessity should press you — and, above all, tell not the 
pale face of his debt of gratitude, while there remain to 

VOL. I. — 6. 



62 EONEGUSKI. 

you any other means of safety. But should his keen 
grey eye, (for Eonah has not forgotten his eagle glance,) 
find in thy lineaments any record by which his youthful 
benefactor may be remembered, or any resemblance to 
the manly person of Eonah, return with thy whole heart 
his friendly greeting, and tell him that Eonah yet lives ; 
and although the Nantahala Mountains are not more 
thickly covered with the snows of winter, than are his 
locks with the frosts of time, and although his limbs 
tremble with the palsy of age, he yet hopes to live 
many moons, and once more look his pale brother in 
the face.' 

" I saw that the heart of Eonah was moved at parting 
with his son, and that a voice whispered words of doubt 
and unwonted apprehension. But no tear gathered in 
his eye, nor did his lip tremble, when he said to me — 
Go! 

" I was no stranger to the path which lay before me, 
for often had I trodden it in my hunting parties, even to 
the ground whereon we now stand. I was no stran- 
ger to the inhabitants of your father's house. Many 
are the times when both you and your father have pass- 
ed near enough to Eoneguski to have felt his breath — 
but you knew not that he was there. The dwelling of 
John Welch was known to me, and many are the times, 
before he had stirred the vengeance of Eoneguski, that 
he could have torn his scalp from his brain, before any 
white man had dreamed there was an Indian on this 
side of the Homony Mountains. It was not long after 
I set out, before I discovered that I was on the trail 
of my purposed victim. You have seen, Gideon, how 
seldom the game escapes Eoneguski, when once heis 
on its trail — but even his sagacity was outdone by the 
ingenuity of Welch plotting for his life. For weeks I 
pursued him from cove to cove — from mountain top to 
mountain top — from valley to valley — and just as I began 
to find his foot prints yet warm upon the leaves, they 
would suddenly disappear, and I could see them no more 
for a great distance. At last I thought I would try ano- 



EONEGUSKI. 63 

ther scheme of the hunter, and, chasing him no longer, 
waylay his den, and take him as he came in unsuspi- 
cious of danger. I was stealing cautiously on the 
way to my appointed stand, when the elements seemed 
to ccmibine, that the fearful shadows which had visited 
the soul of Eonah, should be realized in the destruction 
of his son, amid his blood-thirsty wanderings. The 
soul of Eoneguski began to misgive him, and he almost 
fancied he could hear the reproving voice of the Great 
Spirit in the howlings of the storm. For two days he 
pursued his journey, and not the track of a beast dis- 
turbed the smooth whiteness of the snow — not the wing 
of a bird could be seen waving darkly amid its falling 
flakes. With limbs benumbed with cold, and starving 
with hunger, he reached the dwelling of your father. — 
I need not tell Gideon how I was received. Nothing 
waked in the bosom of the white man the remembrance 
of Eonah or of his son ; — even his own rifle and shot- 
pouch were forgotten. 

"The elements were, for several nights, too incle- 
ment, I knew, for John Welch to travel, but by day his 
pathway to the house of him he called father was not 
unwatched, until the weather became moderate, when 
both night and day witnessed the almost sleepless 
watchings of Eoneguski. But even then his spirit 
grew dark within him, at the thought of shedding blood, 
and especially the blood of the unsuspecting and de- 
fenceless. His watchings at length became less strict, 
and he joined Gideon in pursuing the game far from 
the place where the object of his vengeance must pass. 
Once or twice on my visits to the house of your father 
the name of Welch was casually mentioned, and, like 
the flashes of lightning in a distant cloud, such as some- 
times lingers in the evening sky of summer when no 
thunder is heard, did the color come and go in the cheek 
of your sister ; and in the changing color of that cheek 
Eoneguski read a tale of Love — and he sickened at the 
thought that he might bring upon that cheek the steady 
paleness of despair, and cause the heart of the maiden 



64 EONEGUSKI. 

to break with anguish. He thought of the Little Deer 
at Tesumtoe, and Eoneguski became a woman. 

" It was the same morning on which the cloud passed 
between Gideon and Eoneguski, that, as I was waiting 
your arrival, something stirred among the bushes, 
and I prepared my rifle to bring down a buck before 
Gideon should appear, when in full view burst forth 
the person of John Welch — the man whose steps I 
had been so long pursuing, and for whose blood I had 
suffered with such feverish thirst. The rifle was raised — 
the cock was drawn back — and the finger rested on the 
trigger — John Welch stood still, like one of the trees 
deep-rooted beside him, conscious that the never-failing 
aim of Eoneguski was upon him. — At that moment 
the howling of the storm sounded in my ears, as when 
it raged along the sides of the Homony — I thought 
of Robert Aymor — of Gideon — of Atha — and the Lit- 
tle Deer — for an instant a dream fell upon me — and 
when I awoke Welch had disappeared. 

" The tale of Eoneguski is now told. To the Great 
Spirit he commits the destiny of John Welch — his errand 
here is over — to-morrow he bends his returning foot- 
steps to the Indian country, to the embraces of his 
father, and to warm and cheer himself in the smiles 
of the Little Deer." 

Gideon could not be other than a deeply interested 
listener to the recital of Eoneguski ; all the seeming 
mysteries in whose conduct were now made as clear 
as the noon-day sun. His feelings were a good deal 
affected, and he remained for some time silent. " It is 
long," continued Eoneguski, " since the tomahawk was 
buried between the Cherokee and his white brothers. 
We are all the children of our Great Father who lives 
far away over the Blue Mountains, and at his command 
the Cherokee has stood beside his white brothers when 
other red men have risen against them. Has not Gi- 
deon heard that Eoneguski has always urged the red 
men to be submissive to their Great Father, and to 
stand up in his defence. 



EONEOUSKI. 65 

44 If I ever did, I have forgotten it," replied Gideon. 

44 Will not Gideon go with Eoneguski to Eonee 1 It 
will make the chilled blood of Eonah grow warm 
again to see the son of his friend. You will find game 
more plenty in the Indian country ; — and there the sun 
is wont to shine more brightly." 

14 1 should like to go," said Gideon, 44 if the consent 
of my father can be obtained." 

44 When he shall remember in Eoneguski the Indian 
boy, he cannot refuse his request, even should his ear 
be deaf to the voice of his son." 

Eoneguski accompanied Gideon to the house of his 
father, with a mind greatly relieved by their mutual 
disclosures: and, as is usually the case under such 
circumstances, they were each better pleased with the 
other than if no misunderstanding had ever existed be- 
tween them. 



66 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Yes, thou recallest my pride of years, for then 
The bow-string of my spirit was not slack ; 
Nor foeman then, nor cougar's crouch I fear'd, 
For I was strong as mountain cataract. 

Campbell. 

Every cup of human happiness is, by the decree of 
Heaven, drugged with some bitter ingredient; and, in 
the most sterling ore of human excellence, will be found 
some base ingredients of unworthy passion. When Eo- 
neguski repaired with Gideon to the house of his father, 
his character and person were of course placed in a light 
altogether new; and although Aymor was gratified at 
meeting in him with the young benefactor of his early 
life, yet even his generous nature was at the same time 
sensible of an embarrassment, like that of a debtor in 
the presence of a large creditor, whose claim he is con- 
scious is more than sufficient to render him bankrupt. 
Yet he was willing to make what payment he might, 
and censured unsparingly his own blindness, which had 
not detected at a glance one whose features he now so 
distinctly remembered, and who bore so strong a resem- 
blance to the brave Eonah. The rifle and shot-pouch 
were not so much to be wondered at, as his attention had 
never been called particularly to them, and as for the 
silver chain, he had never seen it, Eoneguski having 
always worn it concealed beneath his hunting shirt. 
But how should he excuse himself for not being struck 
with the name of Eoneguski? It was true he had 
never heard it mentioned whilst he was in the custody 
of Eonah : but he had subsequently heard that a son of 
that chief had arisen by that name, greatly distinguished 
as an advocate for peace with the whites, and he must 
naturally have conjectured that he could be no other 



EONEGUSKI. 67 

than the one to whom he was himself so deeply in- 
debted. He could only say, that when he first heard 
the name of Eoneguski mentioned in his family, as that 
of his tawny visiter, it was after curiosity concerning 
him had subsided, and the sound happened not to awaken 
in his mind any old associations. He however trusted 
that Eoneguski would not return to his bark cabin in 
the hollow of the mountain, but make his regular lodg- 
ing at his own house. He renewed, at the same time, 
his ancient assurances of a willingness to serve the 
Cherokee to the utmost of his power. 

*• To-morrow," said the Indian, " Eoneguski must 
return to his people ; his only request of Aymor is that 
he will allow Gideon to accompany him, and revive in 
the heart of the aged Eonah the remembrance of the 
time when the marrow of strength was in his bones — 
when his foot was swift in the chace — and his arm 
strong in the battle." 

" It is a long, and I have reason to think it a danger- 
ous way," said Aymor, "and you need not wonder if I 
should fear for my son." 

" He shall be safe," replied the Indian ; "if any harm 
befalls the young man, Eoneguski will return, and be 
the slave of his lather. Does Aymor doubt the faith 
of Eoneguski ?" 

" How can I," replied Aymor. " If my son wishes 
to go with Eonegusld, gratitude will not allow me to 
forbid him." 

" I do," said Gideon. 

" It is enough," said the Indian. " To-morrow at the 
same hour that you visited him this morning, Eonegus- 
ki will expect you. But before I depart," he continued, 
addressing Aymor, " I would gladly be informed what 
befell the white man after his deliverance from his ene- 
mies, and his departure from the wigwam of Eonah." 

" It is scarcely worth the hearing," replied Aymor, 
" but if the son of Eonah desires it, I may not refuse 
his request. It is a subject on which, perhaps, I am 
too fond of dwelling, but it is the infirmity of age to 



68 EONEGUSKI. 

obtrude upon others the adventures of their youth ; and 
I have pleasantly beguiled many a winter's evening- in 
telling over the incidents in which I was concerned, in 
Rutherford's campaign, in which neither Eonah nor my 
youthful advocate was forgotten. But I have so often 
told them over, that I am scarcely able to commence 
any where but at the beginning, and then go regularly 
through. But that would be altogether too tedious for 
the present occasion, and, besides, it is not what you 
wish to hear." 

Aymor reflected a moment, as endeavoring to select 
a suitable place of commencement, then suddenly turn- 
ing to Eoneguski, " Did your father ever tell you how 
he came to make me a prisoner ?" 

" No," was the reply. 

" Well, as it is somewhat amusing, I will begin 
there." 

Eoneguski, addressing himself with real interest to 
what he was about to hear, and Aymor' s own family 
having arranged themselves to listen, for the hundreth 
time, to one of the incidents with which they were per- 
fectly familiar, he went on — 

ROBERT AYMOR's STORY. 

" You must know, then, that I was a sergeant in 
Captain Lenoir's company, which was left to guard the 
baggage and some prisoners at a village we had just 
destroyed, while the rest of the army went on to attack 
another, some distance off The captain learnt, some 
how or other, while we were here, that a party of the 
Indians had passed the main body of our army, and in- 
tended at night to surprise us, destroy our baggage, 
retake our prisoners, and scalp every individual among 
us. When the report got out among the soldiers, if ever 
I saw frightened men it was then ; indeed, the officers 
were no great deal better, except the captain, who was as 
brave a man as ever existed. He was slow of speech, 
and always used the longest words he could think of, 



EONEGUSKI. 69 

except when he happened to be vexed, and then he 
talked fast enough, and very much like other men in a 
passion. While the men were going about with their 
heads low, like partridges in a brush heap, when they 
hear the scream of the hawk, the captain, who was but 
a low man, not exceeding five feet seven inches, walked 
about the camp as straight as an Indian, and almost tall 
enough to look me right in the eyes. I do think he 
was the proudest man I ever saw, at the thoughts of 
having a brush to himself — that is to say, with no supe- 
rior officer present. He made the best preparations 
for the enemy that his means afforded, and did every 
thing in his power to cheer up the spirits of the men. 
It wouldn't do, however — long pale faces were to be seen 
in every corner of the encampment, and what added to 
the unfavorable prospect, whether the water disagreed 
with them or not, I cannot tell, but a most distressing 
complaint broke out suddenly among them, so that there 
was scarcely a man fit for duty. This was a severe 
blow to the pride of our captain, who came up to me, 
with the most comical expression of countenance, 
4 Bob,' said he, ' did you ever see such a pack of 
cowards V 

" ' Oh Captain !' said I, ' the fit will soon work off' 
" ' Work off?' said he, ' yes, if it don't work off soon, 
it will work the rascals to death, and there'll be no body 
left for the Indians to scalp but you and me. 5 

" ' I'll tell you what I would do, Captain,' said I, 

• serve them out another canteen a piece of whiskey, and 
I' 11 engage you'll have no more difficulty.' 

" ' I will follow your advice, Bob,' and away he flew 
like one who had just got possession of some bright 
thought. The liquor Avas served out, and I defy the 
best doctor in the country to discharge as many invalids 
from the hospital in a couple of hours as we did then. 

* Who cares for an Indian V might be heard shouted 
from every part of the encampment; 'he must be a 
poor shoat of a white man who couldn't whip two or 
three of them.' 



70 EONEGUSKI. 

" ' What a delightful change, Bob,' said the Captain, 
approaching me with every feature beaming with plea- 
sure ; ' there is not a man amongst them who would 
not put Hector, Ajax, or Achilles to the blush.' 

" ' They ought to blush for their own cowardice, if 
for nothing else,' I replied. 

" ' Never mind,' replied the Captain, ' it is all over 
now, and I forgive them.— Bob,' continued he, in per- 
fect ecstasy, ' this promises to be the most glorious day 
of my life. — I have been in several what might be 
called severe conflicts, but never before has it been my 
lot to direct with my own voice the storm of battle.' 

" ' Why Captain, said I, ' are you certain after all 
that the Indians will attack us?' 

" The Captain looked thoughtfully for a moment, and 
even disappointed, when suddenly brightening up — ' It 
must be so Bob,' he said, 'from what I have heard; there 
can be no doubt of it. But I'll tell you what you must 
do. Take the muster roll, and draft twenty men, and go 
and reconnoitre. Do you understand me ? — that is, beat 
about and find out slyly what the Indians are doing, and 
come and let me know.' Then pausing a moment — 
1 1 ought by rights,' he continued, ' to send out one of 
my lieutenants, but I am certain either of them would 
create a false alarm, and throw every thing into dan- 
gerous confusion. I must however offer them the job, 
giving them to understand at the same time, that the 
enterprise is a dangerous one, and that I should prefer 
having my subalterns about me, whose counsel I may 
stand in need of, and that Sergeant Aymor can be better 
spared, and will answer the purpose.' 

" ' Agreed, Captain,' said I, ' any way you please.' 

" The two lieutenants and ensign all concurred in 
saying, that, they ' shrunk from no office of responsibi- 
lity or danger, and did not regard the whole Cherokee 
tribe more than a swarm of insects, but if Captain Le- 
noir thought they could be more useful by remaining 
in camp, they had no objection to the reconnoitring 
party being commanded by Sergeant Aymor.' 



EONEGUSKI. 71 

" I accordingly proceeded to draft my men, and as 
ill luck would have it, among others the lot fell upon a 
fat squab of a fellow, by the name of Thompson. He 
was not more than eighteen years of age, and his flesh 
was as soft as a pumpkin ; he was pop-eyed, and had a 
stupid downcast look ; around a pair of thick blubber 
lips, which would have been no discredit to a real 
negro, and indeed all about his cheeks and chin, was a 
soft white fuzz, which gave to his face the appearance of a 
mullen leaf, with the dew upon it. His voice was some- 
times squeaking, like a young goose in harvest, and 
then coarse, like that of a large bull-frog. He did not 
lack for size — indeed, he might have passed well for a 
young giant, but he was as weak as an infant, and 
breathed like a wind-broken horse, after the slightest 
exercise. 

" As soon as he was drafted, ' Sergeant' said he, 
'I depend upon you. My mother told me to be sure 
always to get qne of the officers to take care of me, and 
keep me out of danger. I always liked you, Sergeant, 
and I know you'll take care of me.' I wished the 
poor boy at the devil, and had much rather have left 
him behind, and gone with my nineteen men. But I 
felt proud of the notice which the captain had taken of 
me, and determined to go on smoothly, and make the 
best of every thing, and with as little fuss as possible. 
So off I marched in pursuit of the Indians. My men 
all did better than I expected, and even my youngster 
was beginning to rise smartly in my estimation. We 
marched slyly along, as silent as the dead, peeping 
cautiously into every covert, lest we might be in the 
midst of the Indians before we were aware of it. 

" The strength of Thompson at length began to fail, 
and he to wheeze like a man dying with the asthma. I 
perceived that his canteen was nearly full, and advised 
him to apply to it ; he did so frequently, until it became 
evident that it was seriously affecting his brain, but he 
continued to wheeze, and even more loudly. ' Why 
Thompson,' at length said one of the men, we might as 



72 EONEGUSKI. 

well have brought a blacksmith's bellows along- with 
us as you, by way of enabling us to steal unperceived 
upon the Indians.' 

" At this moment a rifle bullet whizzed amongst us, 
and one of our men fell dead upon the spot. Without a 
moment's reflection, or waiting for orders, all of the 
party, except Thompson and I, directed their rifles 
somewhat towards the place from whence the fatal 
bullet seemed to come, made one general discharge, 
and, as if by common consent, immediately turned 
about and ran down the hill, in the same direction from 
whence we had come, like so many frightened cattle. 
As they leaped over the bushes, the coat-tails of such 
as wore them, might be seen flying high in the air, 
and their path was strewed with pieces of coats, hunt- 
ing shirts, and breeches, which the bushes tore from 
them in their flight. In vain I called to them, and 
strove to rally them, and had just concluded to follow 
their example as the wisest course left me, when a volley 
of bullets whistled about us, and, to my consternation and 
surprise, Thompson threw upon me the whole weight 
of his huge carcass, with his arms around my neck, cry- 
ing out like a great baby, • For God's sake, Sergeant, 
don't leave me, it would break my poor mother's heart 
to hear that I had been scalped by the Indians.' 

"We were on the brow of a high hill, upon the 
top of which, it seemed, the Indians had laid their 
ambush, to Are upon us just as we should clear the 
natural breastwork which the slope of the hill afford- 
ed us. It was this ascent, which was very consider- 
able, that I supposed tried, so severely, the strength and 
wind of poor Thompson. Just at the side of the slope 
as we ascended the hill, suddenly broke off a steep 
precipice, near to the edge of which I stood when 
Thompson threw himself upon me. I exerted my 
whole strength to shake him off, but the frightened 
creature clung to me like a bear, when he is wounded, 
and knows that if he lets go it is all over with him. I 
scuffled to get loose, and he to hold on, edging ofTat the 



EONEGUSKI. 73 

same time from the Indians, until we fell tog-ether over 
a steep place, I suppose at least twenty feet perpen- 
dicular. 

" What happened after that I know not, but the first 
thing I remember was waking up from sleep, and 
finding myself stretched out upon a buffaloe's skin, 
surrounded by a number of fierce Indian warriors. 
Fortunately for me, I understood the Indian language, 
and found it so useful to me then that I have taken care 
since to teach it to all my family — not that I could get 
any satisfaction out of the Indians, as to what passed 
while I was out of my senses, or what they intended 
doing with me, but I could ask for what I wanted, and 
if it was to be had, I generally got it. I soon found that 
the party of Indians was altogether too weak to have 
beaten up Captain Lenoir's quarters, but I suppose they 
calculated on the effects of a surprise, and this the run- 
aways put entirely out of the question, for, as I after- 
wards learned, they got safely back to camp. What 
became of poor Thompson I have never learned to this 
day. I perceived that the Indians were very apprehen- 
sive of going in the direction of their own country, for 
fear of encountering some of the detachments of Gene- 
ral Rutherford, who was now between them and it; so 
they fell back in this direction, and one night actually 
encamped upon the very spot where we now are. Pri- 
soner, as I was, and expecting to be treated as Indians 
often treat their prisoners, I could not help being struck 
with its beautiful and advantageous situation ; and when 
I came to this country, I looked it out and settled upon 
it. 

"After beating about for a few days, and burying their 
dead at various places, the party, in whose custody I was, 
turned their faces westwardly. One day as we were pur- 
suing our march with great caution, I heard the sound of 
drums and fifes, as it were, down in the very bowels of 
the earth. We were upon the top of a very high hill, 
overhanging a deep valley. The chief of our party, (it 
was Eonah himself,) made us lie close, and I distinctly 

voi. I. — 7. 



74 EONEGUSKI. 

saw the long line of men to which I belonged, winding 
like a thread through the gulf beneath me ; — I could 
distinguish the general, my own company, and even my 
brave little captain, by the places they occupied, but 
the horses did not look much larger than goats, nor 
the men than rabbits. For an instant I could scarcely 
avoid crying out to them, but I knew that immediate 
death would be the consequence, and, although my 
heart beat so loudly, that I fancied they might almost 
hear it, I saw the last of my countrymen pass the angle 
of the mountain, and heard the last faint sound of their 
distant drum, without uttering an exclamation. No- 
thing particular afterwards occurred to me until we 
reached Eonee, and with what happened there you are 
as well acquainted as myself." 

" True," replied Eoneguski, "but you have not told 
me what I was most anxious to learn, and that is, what 
befell you after your departure from Eonee." 

" Oh, hang it," cried Dolly, " I have heard that 
plaguy story so often that it makes me sick. For 
God's sake, Bob Aymor, can you never find any thing 
to tell a body but your everlasting stories about the 
war ?" 

" I am only complying with the wishes of the stran- 
ger," replied her husband, tartly, " and nobody is com- 
pelled to listen who does not desire to hear. But I 
fear," he continued, addressing Eoneguski, " even you 
will be weary of my story." 

" The Cherokee," said the Indian, "asks nothing that 
he does not wish. I have said that I desire to listen to 
the white man's story." 



EONEGTJSKI. 75 



CHAPTER VIII. 

his unclosed eye 

Yet low'ring on his enemy, 

As if the hour that seal'd his fate 

Surviving, left his quenchless hate. 

Byron. 

A man does not treat a rebuke with more deference 
from feeling suspicious that others may suppose it is 
somewhat merited ; and a consciousness that he might 
have been rather frequent and tedious in his recitals of 
the events of Rutherford's campaign, did not enable 
Aymor to bear with more patience the intimations which, 
his wife occasionally gave him, that she for one was 
tired of them. On the contrary, while it increased for 
a time the smart they gave to his wounded pride, it im- 
parted to them a somewhat abiding effect, by subduing 
that self-complacency which enables a man to bear even 
injuries with something of calmness, and encounter dif- 
ficulties with composure. The fretting operation of mor- 
tified pride was added to the sense of intended insult, 
and, notwithstanding the cavalier manner in which he 
affected to treat the impertinence of his wife, as recorded 
in the last chapter, it yet made upon him a serious im- 
pression, and disinclined him to comply with the request 
of the Indian. But he could not refuse, and was com- 
pelled to proceed under all the disadvantages of perform- 
ing a reluctant task, with a mind agitated by excite- 
ments unconnected with the subject of his story. 

ROBERT AYMOR'S STORY CONTINUED. 

" I will now," continued he, " attempt the relation of 
what happened to me after I left the wigwam of your 
father, the Bear. It was, as you remember, although 



76 EONEGUSKI. 

there was no moon in the heavens, a beautiful star-light 
night when we parted, and I stole down softly past the 
dwellings in Eonee. All was still — not a glimmer 
of fire-light was to be seen amongst them — and not a 
dog growled to shew that he scented a stranger. I 
came to the Tennessee River, and heard it gushing 
along its rocky bed, unmingled with any other sound. 
A solitary canoe was lazily swinging backwards and 
forwards, to and from the bank to which it was fastened 
by a rope of papaw bark. I drew it towards me, so as to 
rest the bow firmly upon the bank, then laid my rifle into 
it, and having seated myself, paddled quickly across the 
river, but not without much difficulty from a rapid 
current continually sweeping me down. 

" I had just fastened the canoe, and having taken my 
rifle, was preparing to ascend the bank on this side of 
the river, when a party of Indians started up. ' Aha,' 
said one of them, (whose voice I recognised to be the 
same with that of the Indian with whom your father 
had words concerning me in the evening, and whom he 
called the Fox,) turning to his comrades, ' Who is the 
liar now, the Fox or the Bear ? — How long is it,' he 
said, addressing himself to me, ' since you left the wig- 
wam of Eonah?' 

" ' Shew me first your right to ask V I answered. 

" ' The right,' said he, ' by which the white man 
burns the wigwams, ravages the fields, and murders 
the wives and children of the red men whom he calls 
his brothers — the right by which the wolf crushes 
the bones and laps the blood of the lamb when he is 
hungry — the right by which the eagle stoops upon 
the dove from his towering height — the right by which 
the tornado lays low the trees of the forest — the right 
by which the lightning rives asunder the firm rooted 
oak — Power!' 

"And he looked round upon his comrades as if to 
give the same direction to the eyes of him whom he 
addressed. 

" * I am under the protection of a power greater than 



EONEGUSKI. 77 

yours,' I said, emboldened by what I had heard in the 
evening's interview. 

" ''Tis false,' he replied, ' the power of Eonah is at 
an end — the Oewoehee will no longer be cheated of 
their rights.' 

" ' If the solemn assurance of Eonah, that I should 
pass unmolested will not protect me, I have nothing 
else to which I can trust, and you must do with me as 
you like,' I said. 

" ' Have you the word of Eonah,' said another, who 
appeared to be next in consequence to the Fox, stepping 
towards me, ' that you should pass in safety through 
the Indian country?' 

" ' I have,' I replied. 

" ' How shall we know it V continued my last inter- 
rogator. 

" ' Know you,' said I, ' the shot-pouch and rifle of 
Eonah?' 

" ' I do,' he answered. 

" ' Look upon these then,' I said, ' are they not suffi- 
cient to assure you that I am under the protection of 
Eonah V 

" ' It is enough,' replied the Indian. 

" I now saw the other Indians gradually drop away, 
until the Fox and I were left alone. 

" ' You have thirsted for my blood like a savage, as 
you are,' I said, ' but the Great Spirit has protected me. 
The day may yet come when vengeance shall overtake 
you for having pursued me with so much malice.' 

"'Dog!' said he, 'do you threaten the Fox?' in 
a sharp shrill voice, not unlike the barking of that 
animal. 

" ' I dare to threaten you !' I replied, ' but I despise 
you too much to do so.' 

" I heard the cock of his rifle click, and knew 
there was no time to be lost — I threw off my shot- 
pouch, and laid aside my rifle, in an instant, and 
sprung upon him, with my whole strength, endea- 
voring to wrest his rifle from his grasp. But he held 
7* 



78 EONEGTJSKI. 

on firmly, and we jerked each other hither and thither, 
in our struggle, until we found ourselves up to our 
knees in the river. There had been a swell in the 
stream, and in a moment or two more we were beyond 
our depth. The possession of the rifle now became a 
matter of small consequence. I relaxed my grasp 
upon it, and fastened upon the throat of the Fox, I 
felt the rifle strike against my knees, as it sunk towards 
the bottom of the stream, and immediately afterwards 
the hands of the Fox about my throat, in fruitless ef- 
forts to grasp it. I found his strength was gone, and 
began to fear that, much against my will, as well as 
my interest, I had taken away his life. Indeed, the 
rush of the water in my ears informed me it was time 
to strive for my own preservation. I accordingly made 
the proper exertions, rose to the top of the water, and 
regained the shore. There I did not stop longer than 
was necessary to gather up my property and recover 
my breath, but in that time I distinctly heard the Fox 
splashing in the water, as the current bore him down, 
and blowing like an otter. 

" I now hastily pursued my journey, guiding my 
course as well as I could by the stars, and the direction 
(of which I had a general notion) of the Cowee range 
of mountains, which I soon began to ascend with much 
toil. Day was beginning to break when I reached the 
crest, which was not much wider than that of a good 
large buffaloe, for I scarcely knew I was up, before I 
was again descending. My work became much easier, 
and it was not long before I found myself upon the 
margin of the Tuckasege, which rolls at the base. 
Here I saw a new difficulty before me — this stream, 
like the Tennessee, was a good deal swollen, and was 
therefore too deep to wade. I spent some time in tra- 
velling up and down the bank, with the hope of acci- 
dentally meeting with a canoe, but my labor was fruit- 
less. It was true I saw one on the opposite bank, but it 
might as well, for all the good it could do me, have been 
beside the one in which I had crossed the Tennessee ; 



EONEGUSKI. 



79 



indeed, much better, for I was apprehensive that it 
might have carried over persons I had rather not en- 
counter. 

" Concluding therefore that I must once more depend 
upon my strength as a swimmer, I chose to land some- 
what above the place where the canoe was fastened on 
the other side. But I must now be encumbered with 
my rifle and shot-pouch, both of which it was necessary 
at all hazards to keep dry. When I found there was no 
other way of getting over the stream, I thought there 
would be no use in shilly-shallying about it, so I gather- 
ed the flap of my shot-pouch in my teeth, and raised 
my rifle with one hand high above my head, and having 
plunged into the river, tugged for the opposite shore. 
The water was cold, and almost took away my breath, 
the rapidity of the current carrying me some distance 
below where I had intended landing: but I got through 
safely, and, shaking myself like a water dog, went 
ahead. 

" I had walked on just long enough for my clothes to 
be getting dry, and began to think seriously of something 
to eat, when a large grey squirrel came tripping across 
my way, and ran up a hickory tree near which I was 
passing. Thinks I to myself, now I will make trial of 
the Bear's rifle, and for the want of something better, 
bring down that long tailed gentleman for my break- 
fast. I fired, and, as I expected, the squirrel fell dead. 
I took him up, intending in a short time, and at some 
convenient place, to kindle a fire and broil him ; and I 
have had many a worse meal than he would have fur- 
nished, even as I should have to eat him without bread 
or salt. 

" Having reloaded my rifle, I pursued my jour- 
ney. I had not gone far, when I saw lying at a short 
distance before me an Indian. If he was alone I did 
not fear him, and if he was not alone, I knew that 
retreat was perfectly useless. So I marched on. As I 
approached him, he had the appearance of one dead — 
he lay in perfect stillness, and I could not even perceive 



80 EONEGUSKI. 

that his bosom heaved, as it should have done, if he were 
yet breathing- — besides this, streams of blood, now clotted 
and dry, had run in various directions over his face and 
bosom — his right arm lay under him, and his left across 
his body — his half open eyes had the glazed appear- 
ance of death — and his relaxed lip shewed the set teeth 
of one who had died in agony. 1 took hold of the foot 
and with difficulty lifted up one of the legs a little way, 
which fell back to its place as soon as I let it go, with 
the rigidity of death. I then took hold of the arm, 
which lay across the body, and was about raising it up 
in the same manner, when, as quick as lightning, the 
creature rose up to a sitting posture, and plunged into 
my bosom a knife he held concealed in his hand be- 
neath him. 

" ' Aha,' said he, and I recognised the voice and 
devilish countenance of the Fox. I instantly threw 
myself upon him, and seizing him by the wrist of his 
right hand withdrew the knife. It was bloody, and the 
wretch yelled with delight as he beheld it. I snatched 
the knife from his grasp, and planting my knees upon 
his body, and bearing my left hand firmly upon his fore- 
head, raised my right with the intention of plunging the 
knife into his heart. He saw my purpose, and instead 
of asking for mercy, ' Strike,' said the savage, ' for Chu- 
heluh is avenged.' 

" He doubtless supposed the wound he had given me 
must be mortal, and such it certainly would have been, 
but for the most providential circumstance — for the 
want of some more convenient place to stow away my 
game, I had, without any design, thrown the squirrel I 
had just killed, into the bosom of my shirt, on my left 
side. Nevertheless, I was certain that the knife had 
touched me, for I distinctly felt the blood trickling down 
my side, although I was not conscious of any pain. 
But I was satisfied, from my feelings, that my wound 
was not mortal, and I even believed it not very deep, 
from the length of the knife blade, and a confidence I had 
from its direction, that it must have passed through the 



EONEGUSKI. 81 

body of the squirrel before it reached mine. For a 
moment the fate of the Fox was balanced in my mind — 
I thought of my obligations to his chief, and the dan- 
gers which might beset me in my progress home should 
I provoke farther the ill-will of any of his people — 
and the life of the Fox was saved. 

" ' Go !' said I; ' for the second time I grant you your 
life.' Without making any reply, he instantly rose to 
his feet, and flew with the utmost speed in the direction 
of the Tuckasege, never casting a look behind him, as 
if he feared a change of my purpose in relation to that 
life for which he had been too proud to beg. I could 
not help laughing to see with what speed and earnest- 
ness he ran. I now examined the state of my wound, 
and found it, as I had expected, quite shallow, nearly 
the whole of the knife, from the longitudinal position 
which the squirrel had assumed in my bosom, as I 
bent over the Indian, having been buried in its body, 
and deriving therefrom its bloody appearance. 

" Nothing remarkable aftenvards occurred until I 
reached Fort Defiance, where I found my father mourn- 
ing for me as a dead man. He received me as one 
newly risen, and was scarcely less rejoiced at behold- 
ing again the old family watch, for which, however, 
he would have considered the Fox's knife a full equiva- 
lent. I have kept the knife to this day," said Aymor, 
producing that formidable weapon. " As for the chain, 
my manner of disposing of it was highly approved by 
my father." 

Soon after Aymor had finished his story, Eonegus- 
ki took leave of the family, with the dignified com- 
posure of a savage. " The children of men," said he, 
"are like leaves scattered over the earth, the winds 
breathe upon them, and they are gathered in heaps — it 
blows again, and they are scattered widely asunder." 

As soon as he was gone, Gideon repeated in detail 
what he had heard upon the mountain side, some of the 
particulars of which he had previously communicated. 
The auditors were variously affected, according as 



82 E0NEGUSKI. 

they stood related to the different circumstances ; and in 
the estimation of all Eoneguski was greatly elevated. 

Atha was much relieved to learn that he had aban- 
doned his purpose of revenge upon Welch, and deeply 
affected by the causes which lead to its formation. Con- 
firmation was, however, distressingly added to Welch's 
self-condemnation — that his hands were actually stained 
with blood, was placed beyond doubt, but the causes 
which lead to the homicide were yet in obscurity, and 
there was still room to hope that his act was the offspring 
of necessity or accident. New causes of anxiety were 
thus opened upon her mind, from which she sought al- 
leviation by disclosing to her family her interview with 
Welch, at the fountain, of which there no longer existed 
a necessity for concealment. Aymor regretted still more 
deeply, when, hearing of Welch's trials and difficulties, 
his harshness towards him, but cheered himself with 
renewed hopes of his return, which he thought derived 
support from his having been seen in the neighbor- 
hood. Dolly wept, and declared that " she wished she 
might never stir if John Welch wasn't good enough 
for any Aymor in the world, and that she did not think 
him the paring of her toe nail the worse for having 
killed a drotted Injun." 



EONEGUSKI. 83 



CHAPTER IX. 

As one who spies a serpent in his way, 
Glist'ning and basking in the summer ray. 

Parnell. 

There is unquestionably a vast difference between 
that mere animal principle, found in the males of almost 
every species of the brute creation, in common with 
man, spurring its subject on to the accomplishment of 
his purposes, regardless, or unconscious of danger — and 
that moral determination which characterizes the higher 
order of moral constitutions, and prompts to the perform- 
ance of duty, in a confident reliance upon the protect- 
ing arm of an overruling power, and to willingness, at 
the same time, in submission to His will, to perish in its 
discharge. And yet both these are described in our 
language by the word Courage. It is true, that some 
have admitted a distinction, which they represent by 
the phrases, " physical" and " moral" courage : while 
others again deny that the latter has any existence at 
all, and will not allow the possession of the admired 
quality of courage to any who are not stimulated to the 
prosecution of their purposes in the face of danger, by 
a mere constitutional impulse. 

It would seem to be a sufficient outrage upon moral 
dignity to place these two qualities upon an equal 
footing, but it is surely worse than Epicurean brutality 
to degrade the latter to a rank below the former, or alto- 
gether deny its existence. The word Courage is, doubt- 
less, of French origin, and is probably derived from 
Coeur, (the heart,) indicating its character as a moral 
principle, from its being the chief offspring of that region 
of our moral nature. But as in those ages, when neces- 
sity for great individual exposure was most necessary, 



84 EONEGUSKI. 

intellectual cultivation was at its lowest ebb, the mere 
animal impulse was much more common than the moral 
sentiment ; and, by popular acclamation, not only pro- 
cured an equal rank with the latter, but finally usurped 
the whole possession, which it seems resolutely bent, 
through the assistance of its friends, forever to maintain. 

In whatever their differences, in these two qualities, 
may otherwise consist, we may safely assert that the 
one quality is the property of the brute and the fool, 
and the other of the wise man and the Christian. The 
one disregards danger, in ignorance of its existence — ■ 
the other sees it, but feels that it is a duty to encounter 
it, and that, to do so successfully, it must be done with 
firmness. 

It is not our purpose, then, to represent in the conduct 
of Robert Aymor in his various conflicts with the Fox, 
the mere champion of brute force and fearlessness, but a 
man of strong moral powers, backed by such physical 
ones as made them effectual ; and to exhibit the happy 
effects of that habitual self-control over the moral con- 
stitution, which will infallibly elevate a man to a more 
dignified rank in the scale of being than any thing 
besides ; and, for the practise of which, no high degree 
of intellectual culture, in the general signification of 
that expression, is it all necessary. Aymor was never 
insensible of the danger to which he was exposed in his 
various interviews with his malicious enemy, and would 
gladly have avoided them, but they did not drive him 
from his onward path of duty, or render themselves 
fatal, by giving to fear a triumph over his faculties. 

In order to connect and explain that portion of Ay- 
mor's story, contained in our last chapter, it is necessary 
that we should detail, to some extent, the thoughts, 
purposes, and actions of Chuheluh, in his attempt 
to stir up the populace of Eonee against their chief. 
When he found that he was foiled in his attempt to ex- 
cite them to madness at the refusal to surrender the pri- 
soner to be be put to death, his disappointment was very 
great. — His sagacity, however, enabled him to disco- 



EONEGUSKI. 85 

ver, beyond all doubt, that Aymor was in the wigwam 
of Eonah, notwithstanding what had been said to the 
contrary. Another scheme suggested itself to his 
mind. This was to stir up a party of Indians from 
among those who had not been present at his interview 
with Eonah, under the pretence that the prisoner had 
escaped against the will of their chief, to waylay him 
at the river, and reconduct him to Eonee; and he trusted 
that he should be able in the course of the night, so to 
excite the thirst of the savages for blood, that a rebel- 
lion might break out against Eonah, who would, doubt- 
less, endeavor to resist or severely reprove any violence 
on the person of the captive. 

In this plan we have already witnessed his ill suc- 
cess. Some farther explanation is, however, necessary. 
The jealousy and personal hatred of Chuheluh towards 
Eonah so far got the better of his habitual cunning, 
when Aymor referred to his power as greater than his 
own, that he was induced to reply in such way as lead 
to a discovery by the Indians who accompanied him, of 
the deception he had practised upon them, and that, under 
the pretence of serving their chieftain, he was endeavor- 
ing to stir them up to rebellion against him. 

After the conflict which ensued between the Fox 
and himself, Aymor left him struggling in the water, 
little expecting to encounter him again, but Chuheluh 
was an adroit swimmer, and, although Aymor had 
brought him, in the process of drowning, to the very 
verge of insensibility, and so far exhausted his strength 
as to render his situation exceedingly precarious, he 
was yet enabled, after many desperate struggles, to land 
some distance below, on the same side with Aymor. 
With the recovery of his self-possession, came feelings 
of the most malignant revenge towards his late anta- 
gonist, as well from the sting of disappointed expecta- 
tions, as indignation at the personal disgrace and danger 
to which he had been subjected. Neither did the loss 
of his rifle, which lay buried in the mud and sand at 
the bottom of the Tennessee, sit lightly on his mind. 

VOL. I. 8. 



86 EONEGUSKI. 

The purpose of revenge was no sooner formed, than 
his fertile brain teemed with plans for its execution. 
The only weapons now remaining to him were his toma- 
hawk and scalping-knife, and with one or both of these 
must the blood of his victim be spilt. The scheme most 
grateful to his feelings, and that which appeared most 
likely to succeed, could be best accomplished with the 
scalping-knife. 

Preparatory to his other arrangements he accordingly 
wounded in several places both his face and breast with 
that instrument, not very "deeply it is true, but suffi- 
ciently so to let the blood flow about over them, in 
pretty copious streams ; which being suffered to clot and 
harden, gave to him the appearance of one upon whom 
violence had been inflicted. His next step was to 
touch the point of his knife with a very deadly poison, 
so that if the wounds he meant to inflict upon Aymor 
should, from any circumstance, fail to be mortal in them- 
selves, the venom infused into them might be certain, in 
a very short time, to subdue the powers of life. Thus 
equipped, he put away his tomahawk, the better to as- 
sume the appearance of a spoiled and defenceless victim 
of violence. 

These arrangements were all completed in less time 
than we have taken to relate them, and with eager 
haste he set out upon the trail of Aymor. After a time 
he came in view of hi u, unperceived by his intended 
victim, and dogged his steps until he reached the sum- 
mit of the Cowee Mountain. Here he ascertained from 
the direction he was taking, the place where Aymor 
would probably strike the Tuckasege, and taking his 
own course rapidly down the mountain another way, 
came where he hoped to find a canoe, and was not dis- 
appointed. With the characteristic dexterity of an In- 
dian navigator, he caused the canoe to glide across the 
stream, and had just time to debark and conceal himself 
among the shrubbery, when he saw Aymor coming 
down to' the river in search of some means of passing 
over. He continued to watch until he discovered that 



EONEGUSKI. 87 

Aymor was preparing- to throw himself into the river 
to swim, when he retired a little distance farther from 
the bank, and intently observed his contest with the 
current, which he once or twice feared would rob him 
of his victim, and even thought of plunging in, to as- 
sist the waters in their conquest, and share in their tri- 
umph. But his plans were otherwise formed; — and 
who does not prefer doing things in his own way? 
Aymor was accordingly permitted to land, and pursue 
his journey, while Chuheluh sought a fitting opportunity 
to consummate his purpose. As he kept at a little dis- 
tance from the side of Aymor, concealing himself from 
observation by the shrubbery, and treading with a light 
feathery footstep, he came suddenly upon a squirrel 
seated upon its haunches, with its beautiful bushy tail 
curled over its back, busily engaged in gnawing out 
the kernel from a hickory-nut. So noiselessly had the 
savage approached, that he had almost grasped the 
animal before it discovered him. Dropping at the 
same moment both its brush and its hickory-nut, the 
squirrel tripped away in the direction of Aymor, and 
finding its enemies so thick about it, retreated preci- 
pitately up the large hickory tree, on whose fruit it had 
been regaling. 

Chuheluh saw that Aymor was looking up after the 
squirrel, and concluded he was contemplating for the 
animal the same fate impending over himself. The 
delay thus produced was just sufficient for the purposes 
of the Fox, who hastened forward and threw himself 
where he supposed he must attract observation, in the 
position already described by Aymor, and counterfeited, 
with practised skill, the symptoms of death ; — and we 
have already been informed what followed. 

But Aymor was mistaken in the cause of Chuheluh's 
flight. The truth was, that he looked upon Aymor's 
fate as sealed, and having glutted his vengeance, had 
no desire to expose himself to any accountability, either 
to the whites or his own people, as a murderer, and, 
therefore, wished to be as far and as early removed 



88 EONEGUSKI. 

as possible from the scene. But he was as much mis- 
taken in his calculation, as Aymor in his conjecture, 
for the body of the squirrel had been as effectual in 
disarming the knife of its venom, as in shielding the 
heart of Aymor from its reach ; and thus proved a 
defence in all respects as effectual as the fabled asgis 
of Minerva. 



E0NEGUSK1. 89 



CHAPTER X. 

In sooth his form was free and bold, 
And cast in nature's noblest mould. 

****+•****** 

But I had look'd to see as soon 
Th' uncavern'd wolf, in frolic boon, 
With bounding- fawns unfeared agree, 
As that between them love should be. 

*********** 

I chided and forbade — alas ! 
Too late to save my child it was. 

Yamoyden. 

Contiguous parts of the several States of North 
Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, from their long- pos- 
session by the Cherokee tribe of Indians, have since the 
period of which we speak, been generally known by the 
name and style of the Indian Nation. Yet this was 
after the once boundless territory had been subjected 
to several of those paring processes, called treaties. 
At the time our story commences, the southern and 
western boundary was quite undefined; but within what 
has since been called the " Nation," as well as the 
formerly limitless possessions of the Cherokees, lay the 
country to which Gideon Aymor was invited by the 
generous and hospitable hero of our story. 

But to bring up all our characters as nearly as pos- 
sible to the same point of time, before we accompany 
Gideon on his visit, we must return to the evening 
when, according to the story, John Welch ventured 
to ask Robert Aymor' s approval of his passion for his 
daughter. 

Aymor, as Ave have seen, was, in his way, a proud 
man, and, notwithstanding the great obligations he was 
under to a portion of that race, collectively he enter- 
tained towards the Indians the most deep rooted con- 



90 EONEGUSKI. 

tempt and hatred. Nor was he at all singular in this. 
It will be found, we believe, among the whites generally, 
that with those whose minds have not been liberalized 
by education, or whose natural dispositions are not un- 
commonly noble, previous to much knowledge of In- 
dian character, the prevalent feeling towards that people 
is one of apprehensive dislike, if not of shuddering 
horror — the result doubtless of the stories which almost 
all have heard from their infancy, of their ferocious 
cruelty and subtle vindictiveness. Those who, by fami- 
liar intercourse with them, have enjoyed opportunities 
of better knowledge, instead of that kindness, which 
is the ordinary effect of familiar intercourse between 
any two of the creatures of God, suffer a contempteous 
hatred to spring up. This circumstance presents, 
both to the divine and the philosopher, a theme for 
melancholy reflection. We strongly suspect that it is 
only to be accounted for by the fact, that such persons 
usually, like Aymor, are borderers, who make use of 
the advantages with which Providence has blessed them, 
not to improve the condition of their less favored breth- 
ren of the red skin — not to impart to them from their 
stores of knowledge, which, like the miraculous cruise 
of oil, suffer no diminution from pouring a portion 
of them out — not to shew them the way to individual 
comfort and collective prosperity — not to point them 
to the flowery path of virtue, and to those ways of 
pleasantness which are only to be found in the pursuits 
of piety, under the direction of a heaven-descended 
religion — but to cheat and defraud them of the little 
they have — and that they may fall the easier prey to 
their cupidity, so far from removing from their eyes 
the bandage of ignorance, they rather strive continual- 
ly to thicken its folds — those things which might pro- 
cure to them individual comfort and collective prosperity, 
as fast as they arise, are artfully abstracted, and the fas- 
cinations of vice are presented to their infatuated hearts, 
and, chiefly among these, the allurements of drunken- 
ness — that practice most injurious to themselves, and 



EONEGUSKI. 91 

best calculated to put them in the power of the spoiler. 
Obedient to a law of nature, which prescribes more 
bitter hatred from the inflicter of wrong towards him 
who suffers, than even that from the sufferer towards 
him who inflicts, they habitually hate whom they habi- 
tually wrong, and contempt is added for the stupidity 
which sees not, or the tame humility which suffers the 
wrong. 

Nay more, the lands which the theoretic justice 
and liberality of the governments of the white people 
have secured to the exclusive possession of the Indians, 
bearing to the wide inheritance from which they have 
been driven, about the same proportion that the cloud 
seen by the servant of the Prophet, no larger than a man's 
hand, bore to the masses of vapor which immediately 
sprung up, and deluged the land of Israel, are stretched 
out before them. The native freshness of these lands 
is like that in which this whole continent was beheld by 
the first of its transatlantic visiters — trees are seen 
shooting high up among the clouds of heaven, while 
around their massy trunks luxuriant vines climb up and 
cling for support, bearing down their branches to the 
earth by the rich and ponderous clusters of their fruit — 
while beneath this covert the long rank grass spreads 
out its perennial verdure. These lands they look upon, 
from their impassible confines, as the Israelitish leader 
did from the top of Pisgah upon the rich valleys where 
dwelt the children of Edom — with a longing glance. 
But the laws of the country are strict, and highly penal, 
and no means of possessing them is allowed, but alli- 
ance by marriage with the despised race. Many, very 
many, comply with the desperate condition, but more sit 
like the vulture, watching the moment when some relax- 
ation of the law shall invite them to the spoil, or until a 
provision in some treaty shall cause another removal 
of this treaty-tossed people, as that bird watches the ex- 
tinction of the last spark of life from his destined prey. 
Meantime, protracted expectation, causes them to fret 
against the obstacle which opposes the gratification of 



92 EONEGUSKI. 

their wishes, until they almost feel that the Indian is an 
intruder upon the soil of his nativity, and might justly 
be crushed like a reptile in their path, impeding their 
advance to fame and fortune. 

In such a state of things who can wonder that Ay- 
mor was opposed to the marriage of his daughter with 
one of the Indian race % It is true, that for Welch indi- 
vidually, he even felt an attachment, and had scarcely 
once, thought of his Indian blood, until it was forcibly 
presented to his consideration in that mental coup oV mil 
to which one is subjected with whom any important 
connection is proposed. He certainly had not been 
ignorant of the intimacy between the families, and he 
was not a man so little observant of nature, as to be 
unconscious of the probable effect of daily intercourse 
between two persons of their period of life, of opposite 
sexes, and, especially, when cut on\ as it were, from the 
rest of the world, each was so highly gifted with those 
qualifications most likely to attract the other. But the 
truth is, like other men of a sanguine temperament, he 
was never disposed to believe what he did not wish to 
be true, and if the subject ever flashed across his mind 
he dismissed it at once, as one upon which he might 
never be called to decide : and therefore not being 
guarded by previous reflection, the whole magazine of 
his passions was exposed to ignition as soon as this 
subject was brought, like a sudden spark, in contact 
with it, and the effect has been already described. 
When the explosion was over, Reason, who, had she 
been consulted in time, might have prevented the mis- 
chief altogether, had nothing left to her but to regret 
those evils she could not repair, and apply herself to the 
hindrance of their farther spread. 

It is the wont of every man who acts habitually 
under the restraint of reason, when he finds that a 
naturally hasty temper has triumphed for a time, like a 
tamed beast over the authority of its keeper, to retire 
alone until the monster returns to obedience, . lest, in 
the mean time, he may do mischief which cannot be 



EONEGUSKI. 93 

repaired. And this, Aymor, who was a philosopher in 
his way, practised on the present occasion, and went out 
as soon as he had sufficiently recollected himself to 
acquire composure, to think calmly over the subject; 
and not as Gideon feared, with any hostile intent towards 
Welch. The result was, that perceiving the strong at- 
tachment of his daughter, and considering the subject 
in all its bearings, he gradually became reconciled to, 
and at length even wished for that to which he had 
been so violently opposed. 

Meantime Welch, writhing under the torture of dis- 
appointed love, and with the pride of his spirit wound- 
ed to agony, took the desperate resolution of forsaking 
those scenes which continually reminded him of his 
former happiness, and present disgrace and bereave- 
ment, with the protecting roof of those who had more 
than supplied to him the places of father and mother, 
and lose, amid the coarseness and ignorance of that 
people with whose blood he had been taunted, that re- 
finement of character and sensibility of heart, which 
gave to his present distresses all their power over him. 
He could not, however, reconcile it to himself to depart 
without taking leave of his kind benefactors, but yield- 
ed not to their most earnest entreaties, an abandonment 
of his purpose, a promise of speedy return, or even the 
knowledge of his place of destination. Yet his own 
family and that of Aymor, though visited with some 
fears to the contrary, were disposed to consider his con- 
duct as the waywardness of a boy, who had been 
crossed in love, and to believe that he would persevere 
in it only during the violence of the excitement which, 
had caused its adoption. They therefore confidently 
expected, that in a few weeks at furthest, his rifle 
would again be heard waking up the echoes of the 
Homony. But, in his own mind, the purpose of Welch 
was firmly fixed, and he hastened on gloomily to its 
fulfilment. 

For a considerable part of his way Welch had no 
difficulty in procuring every tiling for his comfort, 



94 EONEGTJSKI. 

for at that period the white settlements, though thin, 
were at convenient distances, to meet his necessities 
with a ready supply, in a spirit of hospitality, that 
prominent virtue of border life. Indeed, the settlements 
had become so numerous, even on the western side of 
Pigeon River, that a court-house had been erected at a 
place called at first Mount Prospect, but which very 
soon afterwards acquired those additional constituents of 
a town — a tavern, a store, and a blacksmith's shop: 
and was yclept Waynesville, doubtless in honor of mad 
Anthony, and by the way of salutary admonition to the 
Indians in the vicinity not to provoke any more of those 
wholesome chastisements, which, in times past, that 
hero was wont to bestow upon the red skins. 

Passing by Waynesville, a few hours walking carried 
Welch within the Indian country, as settled by the act 
of the Legislature of North Carolina, in 1783, and far 
out of sight of any dwelling of the whites. A new 
feeling of desolation came over the spirits of the young 
man when he had passed what he was told was the 
imaginary line separating the jurisdiction of civilized 
man from that of the savage — when he reflected that 
he was going into voluntary exile — from the dominion 
of those distinctly prescribed and well settled laws, 
under whose protection he had grown up from infancy 
to manhood, to yield himself to the capricious deter- 
minations of savage justice — from the endearments of 
tried friends, to the cold reception of strangers — that he 
had cast away a comfortable provision to him, as cer- 
tain as a birth-right, and become a wandering depend- 
ant upon the charity of chance — that he had torn asun- 
der cords of affection, as strong as blood commonly 
knows, and was going in a desperate search for the 
fountain by whose impurity the stream of his existence 
had been poisoned. 

Reflections, such as these, must have damped the 
ardor of his advance, had not Pride whispered him, 
" Behind you is misery and disgrace," and Hope sigh- 
ed softly, " Before you — you know not what." Thus 



EONEGUSKI. 95 

spurred on and invited, he pressed forward, trusting- 
much to accident — and casually falling- in with an In- 
dian, who led him hither and thither, according- to his 
own business or caprice. Welch at length found him- 
self at a place called Sugar Town. 

We are apt to believe that the name of Sugar Town 
is an awkward corruption by the white people of Saga 
Town, for here, at the time we speak of, lived an ancient 
Indian, called Saga, or Prophet — that is, a sage or wise 
man, who was believed to possess most astonishing 
powers of prescience, and was of course looked up to 
with unbounded reverence and respect by the whole 
Cherokee public. On all extraordinary and solemn 
occasions he was the chief director of ceremonies, and 
answered in his various functions to the office both of 
priest and physician, as exercised among people more 
civilized. We think it probable that Sugar Town (or 
rather Saga Town) was early the chosen place of pro- 
phetic residence for the Valley Indians, and from thence 
took its name, being at a convenient site from whence- 
official calls to any part of the Valley might be answer- 
ed. For .the Overhills and Middle Settlements, (the 
other great branches of the Cherokee family,) it is like- 
ly provision was made for their bodily and spiritual 
wants, by a Saga residing among themselves, while 
the Prophet of the Valley, from his central position, 
maintained over his brethren a kind of pre-eminence, 
and was, in all probability, supposed to be more deeply 
embued with the spirit of divination. However all this 
may have been, a famous prophet resided at the In- 
dian village which has become known to the white 
people as Sugar Town, at the time the unfortunate 
Welch terminated at that place his wanderings for a 
season. 

Welch had commenced inquiries with almost the 
first Indian he met, for a clue by which to ascertain the 
persons who had laid on him the burden of existence — 
but his inquiries had been hitherto altogether fruitless, 
and were continued with as little success after his arri- 



96 EONEGUSKI. 

val at Sugar Town. From day to day he purposed an 
application to the renowned Saga, but the accounts he 
heard of him filled him with a kind of superstitious 
awe, which caused the procrastination of what he de- 
termined shortly to perform. Upon his arrival at the 
village, destiny had conducted him to the house of the 
old chief, called Santuchee, or the Panther, where 
he was kindly received, and pressed to spread his blan- 
ket, as his home, and share the daily connehany. No 
offer could seem more opportune than such an one to 
a homeless wanderer, and was therefore gratefully 
accepted. 

There were no tenants of the wigwam but the aged 
Panther, and his no less aged squaw, Wattuna, and 
notwithstanding it was the wigwam of the chief, there 
was an appearance of gloom and of decay about it, 
the evident effect of neglect, to be found no where else 
in the village. Dejection sat heavily upon the coun- 
tenances of the aged couple, unbroken by the slightest 
or most ordinary expression of pleasure. This was not 
company in which a young man, bowed down with dis- 
tresses of his own, would be likely to regain that mental 
quiet of which Welch was in pursuit, or in which he 
would speedily enjoy the sunshine of cheerfulness. A 
painful curiosity to know, and desire to console the afflic- 
tions of his benefactors, however, superseded in his mind, 
to a great extent, its own grievances, and became subjects 
of engrossing interest. But a sense of delicacy did not 
allow him to seek through the li[ s of strangers the 
private history of a family of which he had become a 
member; nor was he altogether willing, by addressing 
the parties themselves, to probe anew wounds which, 
though evidently not healed, had probably by time be- 
came partially callous. But he could not bear the 
gloomy silence that continually reigned in what was 
now his home, and finally determined, at all hazards, 
to penetrate the sad mystery. 

The figurative language in which savages are wont 
to express themselves, has been a subject of remark and 



EONEGUSKI. 97 

admiration to more polished nations, and has, as we con- 
ceive, been unjustly ascribed to something peculiar in 
the genius of the people. We are disposed to attribute 
it rather to the poverty of their language, than to any 
boldness or richness of conception in themselves. In a 
paucity of words, the speaker is necessarily compelled 
to use them frequently in a figurative sense, just as those 
who are thrown together without a common language, 
are driven to the use of signs. Let a man who is but 
little imaginative in the use of his own language, sup- 
posing it a pretty copious one, (English for instance,) 
have occasion to speak in one which, from its own bar- 
renness, or his circumscribed knowledge of it, furnishes 
him with few terms, and his style will be changed at 
once into one bold, sententious, and figurative. Such 
was the case with Welch, as he addressed Santuchee in 
the Cherokee tongue. 

" Why is my father sad ?." he said, one day, address- 
ing the Panther, " and why is there no sunshine in his 
countenance?" 

" There is no sunshine in the sky of Santuchee," 
replied the Panther, shaking his head mournfully — "the 
sun which once shone upon his path, has set. — For 
many moons has Santuchee sat in the cheerless shadow 
of the night." 

" The sun shall rise again upon the path of my fa- 
ther," said Welch, "and the dark shadows of the night 
shall fade away." 

The old man suddenly rose up, and with a strength 
that almost made Welch cry out with pain, seized 
him by the wrist, and with the wild countenance of a 
maniac, looked him in the face. Welch was not a 
coward, yet he was alarmed, and like many others have 
done, both before and after him, heartily wished that he 
had not intermeddled officiously in other men's matters. 

" Can the stranger," said the old man, in a deep gut- 
tural voice, and with the emphasis of one who really 
sought information — " Can the stranger wake the sleep 
of the dead?" 

VOL. I. 9. 



98 EONEGUSKI. 

Surprised and alarmed as he was, Welch answered 
with calmness, " That belongs alone to the Great 
Spirit." 

" Then say not," replied the old chief, (and he made 
the frail cabin ring again with a frantic laugh, throwing 
from him at the same time with violence the arm of 
Welch,) "Then say not to Santuchee — his sun shall 
rise." 

' He walked moodily back towards his seat, and threw 
himself upon it, like one yielding to despair. 

For a moment Welch thought of prosecuting the 
matter no further, but the ice was now broken, and he 
hoped that the worst was over, and, besides, every motive 
that had stimulated him to the first onset, had, by the 
present result, been put into more lively action. He 
therefore proceeded after a short pause — 

" The Great Spirit hath not left the world in dark- 
ness when the sun has set — look out upon the stars and 
the broad bright moon, how gloriously they sparkle 
upon the Tennessee waters — there may yet be light 
upon the path of my father, though the sun of his sky 
is hid in the grave." 

"There is no moon nor star in the sky of Santuchee," 
said the old chief, with emotion, " Cheasquah was the 
only light of his eyes, or the warmth of his heart." 

" And tell me, my father," continued Welch, " who 
was Cheasquah?" 

" Dost thou ask me stranger," said the old man, 
passionately, " dost thou ask me who was Cheasquah ? 
Begone from my wigwam — it is but to mock the grief 
of his father that you tell him your ears are strangers 
to the fame of Cheasquah. — He was the warrior of his 
tribe," he cried, with animation — " he new with the 
wing of the bird in the chase — he was the lion in the 
battle" — but, resuming his melancholy tone of voice, 
" the Leech has sucked the life-blood of Santuchee, and 
the voice of the Bird no more gives its music to his 
ear." 

A kind of hysteric passion now seized upon San- 



EONEGTJSKI. 99 

tuchee, which, as soon as it had passed away, was suc- 
ceeded by a sound sleep. In the mean time Wattuna 
had been a perfectly passive listener to the conversation 
between Welch and her husband, and did not appear 
either alarmed or surprised at its effect upon the latter ; 
but Welch bad too much reason to be dissatisfied with 
the result of his experiment upon the old chief to renew 
it upon Wattuna, and was forced to content himself for 
the present with the information, that he was dwelling 
in the bouse of bereaved parents, without knowing - how 
this misfortune had come upon them. 

Days passed away, when Welch, finding himself 
alone with Santuchee, at some little distance from the 
village, prompted by a desire of carrying into execution 
a purpose he had formed, of becoming, by regular 
adoption, a member of his family, in despair of disco- 
vering that to which by nature he belonged, he ad- 
dressed him as follows — 

" Let my father adopt his son in the room of the lost 
Cheasquah. He will bend his head as low to the words 
of wisdom as if he were the child of his own blood. 
And now that the elder blossom is white on the head of 
Santuchee, and the marrow of strength is no longer in 
his bones, he will have a young warrior upon whose arm 
he may lean, to support the steps of his tottering age." 

The first expression of joy which Welch had ever 
seen light up the countenance of the Panther, now 
flashed across it — he regarded Welch for a moment 
with a look of complacency, then eagerly exclaimed — 

" Will the young man avenge the blood of Cheas- 
quah?" 

The embarrassment of Welch was great upon this 
most unexpected question, and he was by no means 
ready with an answer satisfactory to himself. His 
mind glanced like lightning over the field of difficulties 
thus spread out before him, and a cold perspiration suf- 
fused his person. But this was no time for reflection — 
he had been the first to stir the subject, little conscious of 
the consequences to which it might lead; and it was not 



100 EONEGIJSKI. 

for him to leave unanswered a question provoked by 
himself, unless, indeed, he might avoid it, by asking 
another. This plan he adopted, and inquired with 
affected composure, " On whom should I avenge it?" 

" On the accursed Leech," replied the chief. 

"And who is the Leech, my father?" continued 
Welch. 

" He is one of the people of Eonee," replied the 
Panther. 

" Where is Eonee?" said Welch. 

" Follow the waters of the Co wee," said Santuchee, 
" and they will lead you to it." 

" How many moons have passed," inquired Welch, 
"since the Leech shed the blood of Cheasquah?" 

Santuchee held up his two hands for an instant, then 
touched with the fore-finger of his right hand the tips 
of each of the fingers, and the thumb of his left, and the 
little finger of the same a second time — "Sixty?" said 
Welch. Santuchee nodded assent — " And why," con- 
tinued Welch, "has vengeance slumbered until now?" 

" Santuchee," replied the chief, " was thirsty for ven- 
geance, and for these many moons (holding up his 
hands as before, and then touching with his right fore- 
finger the tips of the two middle fingers of his other 
hand,) he followed the Leech upon the mountains. — 
But the Leech was active, like the young stag, and 
the chill of age was in the blood of the Panther. 
The young man laughed at the gray haired warrior, 
and the spirit of Cheasquah rebuked his weakness. — 
Will the young man avenge the troubled spirit of 
Cheasquah?" 

"Father !" replied Welch, "the Great Spirit is angry 
with those who spill the blood of his children. How 
then can I shed the blood of the Leech ?" 

" Did the Leech fear the anger of the Great Spirit 
when he poured out the blood of Cheasquah?" said 
Santuchee, reproachfully. 

" The blood of the Leech cannot bring back Cheas- 
quah to rejoice the spirit of his father," said Welch. 



EONEGUSKI. 101 

" But it can refresh the spirit of Santuchee, which is 
thirsty for vengeance," cried the old chief, passionately. 
" Its drops will be instead of the tears of Wattuna. — It 
can send the spirit of Cheasquah in peace to the hunt- 
ing grounds of the blessed. Will the young man 
avenge for me the blood of Cheasquah?" 

" Father," said Welch, imploringly, "there is nothing 
that the young man would not gladly do for his father, 
but his hands are as yet unstained with the blood of his 
race; — then bid him not take away the life of the 
Leech." 

"Away!" said the old man, furiously, "Santuchee 
will have no son until Cheasquah is avenged." So 
saying, he turned away from Welch, leaving him rooted 
to the spot in amazement and perplexity. 

" Wretched man, that I am," said the youth to him- 
self, "why was I not contented with the quiet I enjoyed % 
why did I officiously arouse the sleeping lion? — My 
own rashness has driven me from my home — my un- 
grateful interference has disturbed the quiet of my bene- 
factor — it has raised a storm to destroy my own hopes 
of repose, and wrecked the peace of those who had 
given me the protection of their roof." 

In self-reproaches, such as these, did Welch pass 
many minutes, ere he moved from the spot where San- 
tuchee had left him. 



102 EONEGITSKI. 



CHAPTER XL 



but who art thou, 



Of foreign garb and fearful brow ? 
And what are these to thine or thee, 
That thou shouldst either pause or flee ? 
He stood — some dread was in his face. 

*********** 

Byron. 

The concatenation in which misfortunes are gene- 
rally found has been a frequent subject of remark, and 
has even grown into a proverb. It is not impossible, 
that what are commonly called misfortunes, are gene- 
rally, in truth, the natural fruits of mismanagement, or 
imprudently indulged passion. If this be so, it is no 
way astonishing that the same imprudence or unskill- 
fulness which produces one mishap, should be the parent 
of many. Yet it is very seldom that the victim of 
trouble is disposed to consider his own vices or foibles 
the causes of his griefs, but is rather inclined to look 
for them in some inscrutable purpose of Providence, 
marking him out for affliction and disappointment, and 
even believes, that for the accomplishment of his evil 
destiny, the laws of nature are sometimes changed or 
suspended. 

Into a frame somewhat conformable to this last view, 
did the mind of Welch settle, after having exhausted 
itself in fruitless self-reproaches, as he walked gloomily 
from the scene of his last interview with Santuchee, 
regardless of the direction in which he might wander. 
He was unwilling to return to the wigwam of the 
Panther, where he doubted somewhat of the reception 
he might meet; and whatever might be the outward man- 
ner, he could scarcely expect a hearty welcome upon 



EONEGUSKI. 103 

any other condition than that upon which he shuddered 
even to think. Besides, he dreaded a renewal of those 
solicitations in which now, that the ice was broken, 
there was great reason to apprehend the utmost per- 
severance. He dreaded them, both on account of their 
immediately distressing effect upon his moral sense, and 
the tendency they might possibly have ultimately to 
plunge him into a guilt, towards which he had never 
yet felt the slightest impulse ; for he was not ignorant 
of the sapping operation of continued temptation or 
solicitation, upon the best principles. He therefore 
resolved to fly — though he knew not whither. 

By a most unaccountable fatality he found himself 
at length walking with troubled steps upon the banks of 
the Cowee or Tennessee River. The murmur of the 
stream was soothing to his spirits, and seemed to invite 
him to bury in its bosom his worldly troubles. But 
Providence has mercifully ordained, that when the 
author of all Evil is permitted, under the pressure of 
heavy calamity, to whisper to the mind rebellious sug- 
gestions of suicide, there should generally be in the way 
of the otherwise facile listener, something in the accom- 
plishment repugnant to a lesser instinct of nature, even 
when that master one, the horror of destruction, has been 
subdued. And so was it with Welch, who, however 
much he might have been disposed to lie down under 
the tempter's lullaby, upon some lonely couch, and 
forget all his sorrows in a sleep that was to know no 
waking, yet found something in the cold surface of a 
stream ruffled into waves, and along its edges crisped 
into ice by a bleak December blast, forbidding obedience 
to its own inviting murmurs, or the urgent prompt- 
ings of despair. Thus attracted by one power, and 
repelled by another, he naturally took the intermediate 
direction, and unconsciously pursued along its side the 
seared leaves which the gusts of wind cast upon the 
surface of the stream, until he found himself in sight 
of Eonee. Here he bethought himself of renewing his 
search after his natural parents, and, among others, 



104 EONEGTTSKI. 

had occasional conversations with Eoneguski. But 
fate conducted him to the wigwam of Chuheluh as his 
place of residence while he remained in Eonee. 

It has been already said, that, like many other men 
of less talent than himself, Chuheluh aspired to the 
highest office in the community to which he belonged, 
and like them, found it an indispensable means of success 
to traduce and endeavor to supplant those who stood 
higher than himself in public confidence. Among 
those most ardently attached to the family of the present 
chief of the Eonee, (being himself a member of it,) 
and one of those most active in countervailing the 
deceitful and traitorous practises of Chuheluh, and at the 
same time the most indefatigable and successful, was the 
Leech. He was therefore an object of especial hatred 
to Chuheluh, who was perfectly aware of Welch's 
recent residence at Sugar Town, and that he was there 
looked upon as already an adopted member of that com- 
munity, and the son of their chief, and that it was daily 
expected Santuchee would, by some solemn and public 
act, indicate his desire that Welch might become his 
successor. This impression, although quite general, had 
not excited towards Welch, any ill-will in the bosoms of 
that people; it had, on the contrary, endeared him to 
them, and he was daily advancing in their esteem. 
Upon these circumstances, connected with others, as 
soon as Chuheluh found himself upon terms of intimacy 
with Welch, did he build the hope of being able to rid 
himself of his troublesome and hated foe, the Leech, 
without involving himself in the peril which might attend 
his destruction. Our acquaintance, the Fox, was now 
well stricken in years, nearly thirty having elapsed since 
we saw him, in the prime of life, struggling with Aymor. 

A few days after Welch had taken up his residence, 
as the partaker of the hospitalities of his wigwam, they 
were alone together. " Chuheluh is wise," said the Fox, 
" he hath seen many moons — his bosom keeps like the 
grave the secrets of his friend." 

He waited for an answer, but Welch made no reply. 



EONEGUSKI. 105 

" Chuheluh and the young man are one," he conti- 
nued, " he need not fear to trust him." 

Welch was still silent, naturally concluding- that the 
Fox alluded to the causes of his coming to the Indian 
country, of which nothing could have induced him to 
speak. He did not for a moment suppose that the Fox 
had any allusion to the feud between Santuchee and 
the Leech. But that was, in truth, the subject in 
which the Fox just then felt an interest above every 
other, and from the first had suspected that Welch had 
come to Eonee for the purpose of avenging the quarrel 
of his adopted family. 

" My brother need not wear the veil in the presence 
of Chuheluh," he once more proceeded. " The eye 
of Chuheluh is keen, and he sees into the hearts of 
men. — But my brother need not fear, for Chuheluh 
loves not the Leech." 

" John Welch and the Leech are strangers," replied 
Welch. 

" But Chuheluh will point him out to my brother," 
replied the Fox. 

" John Welch cares not to see the Leech," he said. 

" Why will my brother seek to deceive Chuheluh ?" 
asked the crafty Fox. — " He came here to avenge upon 
the Leech the blood of Cheasquah, and Chuheluh is 
wise, and will give him counsel." 

" You would not counsel me to take the life of one 
of your own people ?" said Welch, artlessly. 

" Is not the blood of Cheasquah — of your brother — 
on his hand? — Chuheluh reverences the laws of his 
people." 

" Of what law do you speak ?" inquired Welch. 

'• That," replied Chuheluh, " which says to the war- 
rior — Your brother is dead — the murderer is before 
you ; — which says " Avenge the blood of your brother, 
or you are a woman. 

" Is such the law of the Oewoehee ?" said Welch, 
with mingled surprise and concern. 

" It is," replied the Fox, "and Chuheluh knows that 



106 EONEGUSKI. 

his brother is brave, and will not let the women point 
at him and say, where is the blood of Cheasquah ?" 

" But why," inquired Welch, anxious to avoid the 
point upon which Chuheluh was pressing him, " why 
has not the blood of Cheasquah been avenged long 
since 1 — It is many moons since he ceased to live." 

" Because the vengeance of the Panther wanted 
wings to bear it," replied the Fox, " and because his 
eye no longer looked keenly along the barrel of his 
rifle." 

" And why did not some of the people of Sugar 
Town lend to their aged chief their swiftness and 
strength ?" 

" Because it was the son of their chief who was slain, 
and it was his right to avenge the deed, and none of his 
people dared to move until he said — Go !" 

" And why did not Santuchee say to some of them, 
Go?" 

" That," said Chuheluh, " you might ask Santuchee, 
but I doubt not that he waited for an adopted son to 
avenge the blood of his brother. And John Welch 
hath come, for he is the adopted son of Santuchee." 

" By the white man's law," said Welch, " none may 
take away the life of his brother, but by the word of a 
Skiagusta. And they teach that the Great Spirit is 
angry if he does." 

" And is my brother governed by the laws of the 
cowardly pale faces 1 Let not my brother say so. The 
blood of Cheasquah cries to him for vengeance — the 
dark soul of Santuchee appeals to him in melting ac- 
cents — and the tears of Wattuna fall warm upon his 
feet." 

A groan of agony now burst from the bosom of 
Welch, and the Fox, startled by it, turned upon him a 
countenance of amazement. But immediately compre- 
hending the nature of the struggle in his mind, " My 
brother," said he, " is sick — to-morrow I will go with 
him to the Saga, at Sugar Town, and he will heal my 
brother." 



EONEGUSKI. 107 

Desperate as this hope was, Welch had heard of the 
wisdom and reputed goodness of the Saga, as well as 
the terrors of savage conjuration, in which he was 
wont to array himself, and therefore instantly resolved 
to make him the confident of his difficulties, with the 
hope that he would point out to him some way of 
escape : and, at the same time, fulfil his procrastinated 
purpose of seeking from him information concerning 
his parentage. 

" It is well," said Welch, " we will go to the Saga." 

" Chuheluh does not willingly leave his sick brother," 
said the Fox, " but he cannot be with him again until 
to-morrow, when he will guide his footsteps to the Pro- 
phet and Medicine. But my brother will be safe in 
the wigwam of Chuheluh, and let him think upon his 
words, for Chuheluh is wise." 

Leaving John Welch, fevered both in mind and body, 
Chuheluh hastened, by a circuitous route, lest observa- 
tion might defeat his purpose, to the residence of the 
Prophet, which was in one of the very outer wigwams 
of the village of Sugar Town. It was about sunset 
when he arrived, and knocking at the door, was admit- 
ted by a negro lad, the property of the Saga, apparently 
about fifteen years of age. This boy had been purchased 
as one possessing qualifications, or rather disqualifica- 
tions, wmich rendered him peculiarly apt for the service 
of a juggler, in which secrets might come into his pos- 
session for the keeping of which it was important there, 
should be the best security. Nature had, it seemed, 
denied to him the power both of speech and of hearing. 
Yet, although he uttered no aiticulate sounds, he had 
many others at command, which habit had enabled him 
to make, by the use of particular muscles, and to re- 
gulate their kind and intensity. It may be, that one, 
unable to hear the voices of others, may yet have the 
auditory nerve sufficiently sensitive to be conscious of 
sounds uttered by himself. Whether this be so or not, 
upon a sign made to him by his master, this boy was 
capable of sending forth sounds bearing a strong resem- 



108 EONEGUSKI. 

b lance to the cries and other noises made by several of the 
brute animals, so as to deceive a very intelligent listener. 
Besides this, he seemed to have an intuitive perception, 
upon the most cursory view, of those persons whom his 
master would be willing to see in dishabille, as well as 
those for whom it was necessary that the note of pre- 
paration should be sounded. As soon, therefore, as he 
perceived that it was Chuheluh who asked admittance, 
a significant gesture, and a wider spread of the humble 
portal, invited him to enter. 

Chuheluh was not backward in accepting the cour- 
tesy of the sable porter. He found the Prophet stretched 
at full length upon a pile of blankets and bufTaloe 
skins — his left elbow resting upon it, with the arm and 
hand elevated, supporting his head. His weather-beat- 
en face was seamed with the furrows of age — his eyes 
were dim, though not altogether sightless ; and his face, 
which time had reduced to an almost negro blackness, 
strikingly contrasted with long straight locks, of snowy 
whiteness. His frame was large and well knit together, 
and his extreme leanness would have shewn to the 
skilful anatomist, without the assistance of the knife, 
each muscle, fibre, and ligament of his body. 

" What does Chuheluh require of Susquanannacun- 
ahata ?" said the Saga. 

" The son of the Saga has business with his father," 
replied Chuheluh. 

" The hand of time is heavy on Susquanannacunahata, 
he needs repose," said the Prophet. 

" Is my father sick?" inquired the Fox. 

11 Age is a perpetual sickness, and Susquananna- 
cunahata is old. Have I not already told you that you 
shall be the chief of the Eonee, when Eonah shall go 
to his last sleep, whither he is hastening. Why would 
you harass one already oppressed with infirmities'?" 

" It is not of the chieftainship of the Eonee, or the 
death of Eonah, that I would now speak with you," 
said Chuheluh. 

" It is well," said the Saga, apparently gratified with 



EONEGUSKI. 109 

the prospect of some other subject, " say on ; the ears 
of Susquannacunahata are open." 

44 A young man has come," said Chuheluh, 44 from 
the settlements of the pale faces, and has spread his 
blanket in the wigwam of Santuchee." 

The Saga was agitated, as if fearing to learn some- 
thing that might affect him injuriously. " It is true," 
he replied, after a pause; and searching with his dim 
eye the countenance of Chuheluh, as if to read his 
thoughts — 44 He is the adopted child of Santuchee." 

44 He comes to-morrow that he may hear words of 
wisdom from the Saga. — There is a cloud upon his 
soul," said Chuheluh. 

The Saga became more agitated. — 44 What would 
the young man know of the Saga 1 ?" he stammeringly 
inquired. 

44 You remember," replied Chuheluh, 44 that the blood 
of Cheasquah, the young warrior of Sugar Town, is 
on the hand of the Leech ?" 

44 1 know it," replied the Saga, breathing freer, as 
if relieved of a burden. 

44 The young man," continued the Fox, " would be 
the adopted son of Santuchee, and yet would dance 
together with the Leech, the dance of friendship, when 
the green corn is gathered." 

44 He is a woman," said the Saga, emphatically. 

44 It is enough," said Chuheluh, 44 to-morrow when 
the sun shall come with its light to Eonee, Chuheluh 
and the young man will set out for the wigwam of the 
Saga, and he shall speak words of wisdom to the young 
man." 

44 It is enough," replied the Prophet, and Chuheluh 
departed. 

It did not escape the observation of Wissa, or the 
Cat, (for that was the name borne by the slave, proba- 
bly in allusion to his activity and slyness,) that Chuhe- 
luh had left his master much more excited and restless 
than he was wont to be from the calls of ordinary visit- 

VOL. I. — 10. 



110 EONEGUSKI. 

ers, but his thoughts respecting it were, for very suffi- 
cient reasons, locked, for the present, within that narrow 
region of mysteries — his own heart. 

We have sometimes thought that the practice of think- 
ing aloud, otherwise called soliloquizing, is much more 
prevalent with children and persons in advanced life, 
than those in whom the natural powers are in maturity 
and vigor. On some other occasion, we may, perhaps, 
account for, and defend the existence of this phenome- 
non, but, for the present, we will content ourselves with 
barely stating it as a fact. Whether correct in it or not, 
as a general proposition, the Saga of Sugar Town fur- 
nishes an instance of a very aged man, who was in the 
habit, when he supposed himself alone, of speaking aloud 
what was passing in his mind. It was probably in 
part for this very reason that he selected, as an attend- 
ant, one of whose services he might avail himself, while 
his infirmity of deafness would relieve him from all fear 
of ill consequences from his habit of conversing with 
himself. One instance of his indulgence in this pro- 
pensity occurred as soon as Chuheluh had left him. 

" The boy yet lives," he said, " blooming like the 
bay flower, whom Soquilla gave to the fire-god's breath. 
Soquilla loved — the Great Spirit saw the heart of 
Soquilla, and knows that he loved fiercely the niece of 
Toleniska. The pale face came, and spoke soft words 
to the niece of Toleniska, and she became his wife. 
But Soquilla was avenged. — He gave to the fire-god 
the child of the pale face and the niece of Toleniska; 
and they thought that the long- knives of the white men 
had drank his blood. — Since then the niece of Toleniska 
has sat in sadness, and Soquilla has said — Revenge is 
sweet. But the child of the pale face and the niece of 
Toleniska, escaped from the embrace of the fire-god, 
and the boy has come again. — But he must not see the 
niece of Toleniska, nor bring gladness to her heart. 
He shall make his hands red with the blood of the 
Leech, and fly far away from the vengeance of the 



EONEGUSKI. Ill 

Eonee, and the night shall be dark in the heart of the 
niece of Toleniska — because she despised the love of 
Soquilla." 

These words were overheard by his late artful visiter, 
who had lingered near the wigwam, and they convey- 
ed to him intelligible information. 

It was but a short time before day when Chuheluh 
regained his wigwam, and hastened to seek that repose 
for which the fatigues, induced by his journey, had so 
well prepared him. Meantime Welch was tossing 
about, and courting, in vain, the solace of sleep and 
relief from the cares which pressed upon his mind. — 
He had not the slightest purpose of consummating the 
bloody deed to which he had been so strongly urged, 
from quarters so unexpected, but wished, if possible, to 
avoid it, without having any cause to reproach himself 
with ingratitude to Santuchee, or any loss of fame 
amongst his new associates ; and his great object in 
visiting the Saga was obtaining such counsel as might 
reconcile these conflicting difficulties. Having fixed 
upon this source, as one from which he hoped to derive 
comfort, Welch could obtain no rest of body or quiet 
of mind until he should see the result of his expedition. 
The Fox accordingly found him ready, as soon as his 
own habitually short slumber had been completed, to 
set out for Sugar Town. 



112 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER XII 

And one there was, around whose limbs was coil'd 
The scaly skin of a snake despoil'd ; 
The jaws by his cheeks that open stood 
Seem'd clogg'd and dripping yet with blood. 

Yamoydey. 

One generation of men treat as the most childish fol- 
lies the superstitions of another, while, in every bosom, 
in some form or other, this mysterious counterfeit of 
true Religion has erected her altar, and relentlessly 
demands some mark of homage. Her exactions are 
increased according to the obedience of the worshipper, 
and, while none have the strength effectually to escape 
her dominion, others are found in different degrees 
of servitude, until, steeped in blood and writhing in 
misery, the most degraded of her slaves pay to her their 
ceaseless and maddening devotions. John Welch was 
neither the most abject slave of superstition, nor yet one 
of those who could boast the greatest exemption from her 
influence. While, therefore, he was far from acknow- 
ledging the extravagant pretensions made for the Saga, 
to preternatural power, it was not without a painful 
feeling of awe, approaching to fear, that he contempla- 
ted an interview with this extraordinary personage. 

It was near meridian, when, in company with Chu- 
heluh, Welch reached the house of the Saga, the door of 
which was closed, both on account of the weather and 
the custom of the Prophet at every season. A gentle 
rap from Chuheluh was sufficient to cause the door to 
open slowly, and the sly countenance of Wissa to peer 
from behind it. A single look was enough to remove 
the doubts which, it may be supposed, dictated the cau- 
tious proceeding of Wissa, for he at once threw the 
door wide on its clumsy hinges, and signed to them to 



EONEGUSKI. 113 

enter. Chuheluh yielded precedence to Welch as a 
stranger, who started back in amazement at the wild 
uncouth object, which would have been sufficiently 
striking, even when surrounded by all the wonders of 
an European or Asiatic metropolis, and was, of course, 
tenfold more horrible in an Indian wigwam. 

The Vatican seat on which the Saga had placed him- 
self, was a high-backed split-bottomed chair, so far as 
Welch was able to judge from the very small portion 
of it unconcealed by the envelopements and appendages 
about the sacred person. The snow white hair of the 
Prophet hung long and straight over his dark brown 
cheeks and brow wrinkled by time and passion, and in 
combination with his general emaciation, his dull rhue- 
my eyes, withered skinny lips, and almost toothless 
gums, gave to him a look altogether spectral. These 
appearances about the head and face were not rendered 
more agreeable by the accoutrement of the other parts 
of his person. Around his shoulders was thrown, 
somewhat after the manner of a Spanish cloak, the 
shaggy skin of a buffaloe, fastened around his neck by 
tying together the skins of the two fore legs, to which 
the hoofs had been left hanging down in front, as in 
mockery of ornament; an effect correspondent to which 
was produced by the tail and the skins of the two hind 
legs pendent in like manner from the other extremity. 
His breast and the fore part of his body, as far down 
as the middle, was covered with a thick coat of birds' 
feathers, of various colors, which adhered as if owing 
their unusual location entirely to nature. An asenoge, 
or petticoat, formed of an Indian or negro blanket, de- 
pended from thence some distance below his knees, and 
all of it, except two black stripes usually found near 
the ends of blankets of that description, and now con- 
stituting a sort of border around the tail of the asenoge, 
was dyed of a deep scarlet color. The top part was 
ingeniously appended to the stuffed skins of two large 
spotted serpents, of the kind vulgarly called the king 
snake, the necks of which being tyed together in front s 
10* 



114 EONEGUSKI. 

confined it to its place, while the heads hung before 
with their red mouths wide open, disclosing- their fangs 
and forked tongues, and their small eyes glistening with 
the malicious fire of life. This garment, probably, had 
some connection with the name of the Prophet, which 
was Susquanannacunahata, or the Long Blanket. 

Like Laocoon's, the body of the Saga was in wreathed 
in the folds of two prodigious serpents, of the constrictor 
species, which, creeping around him in opposite direc- 
tions, and passing over his shoulders, peered out from 
beneath his rough tunic, with their fiery malignant 
eyes, and their deep red throats fearfully distended, as 
if to swallow any one who ventured to approach. At 
the same time their forked tongues were alarmingly 
projected, while hisses, loud and incessant, filled the 
apartment, mingled with that horrific sound, conceiv- 
able only by those who have heard it made by the rattle- 
snake with his characteristic appendage. To complete 
the equipment of the Saga, nothing further need be 
mentioned, save that his lower extremities were en- 
cased in the common buck-skin leggins and moccasins 
of the Indian, while, to exclude the idea of his power of 
doing mischief being altogether imaginary, a rifle of 
most extraordinary length and size was leaning beside 
him. 

Welch looked round, with the purpose of retreat, and 
found himself alone in the wigwam with this vision of 
terror. To add to his painful situation, numbers of the 
smaller objects of human aversion, such as the lizard, 
the toad, the newt, the spider, the ear-wig, the earth 
worm, the snail, and bugs and other insects of various 
sorts and sizes, were creeping about the wigwam. In 
none of them, it was true, did the principle of life seem 
very active : they had evidently been roused into partial 
sensibility from the torpor proper to their natures at 
that season. But it was impossible to say how much 
farther the terrible being might go, who had already so 
far triumphed over the laws of nature, should it suit his 
purposes. A cold shuddering sensation passed over 



EONEGUSKI. 115 

Welch, when he perceived that the door was fastened, 
and, as he did not discover how, there was a distress- 
ing- apprehension that- any attempt he should make to 
open it might be altogether fruitless. 

Meantime, the hissing and rattling which had subsi- 
ded for an instant, burst forth with augmented shrill- 
ness. He knew not what to do, and doubted whether 
to speak or remain silent. Another dying fall was com- 
ing on in the inharmonious music, when the Prophet 
began to rock himself from side to side in his chair, 
with the regularity of a pendulum, and to chaunt a 
wild strain, which, as we are no admirers of rhythm, 
without rhyme, we have endeavored to paraphrase, as 
follows : — 



Dark shadows o'er the Saga's soul 
Pass like the clouds athwart the sky ; 
The future, like a written scroll, 
He reads with dim prophetic eye. 

Mortal, wouldst thou secrets know, 
By the Great Spirit darkly trac'd ; 
Come, while the Saga's pale lips flow 
With words prophetic. — Mortal haste. 

Haste ; nor fear the hissing snake, 
The lizard, toad, nor swelt'ring newt ; 
The winds of Heaven now fiercely shake 
The tree where hangs instruction's fruit. 

Come, gather the fruit as it falls to the ground ; 
While wisdom is speaking, come list to the sound ; 
The Saga's soul swells with a thought full of fear — 
'Tis of that idle mortal thou waitest to hear. 

Cast a look on thy hand, thou wilt see it blood red ; — 

Beside thee, a son of Eonee lies dead ; 

The deed is inscribed in the record of fate — 

That deed must be finished — then why dost thou wait ? 

But hark ! the wild spirit of Cheasquah cries out 
Like a joyful young brave, with his fierce battle shout ; 
He spreads out his wings for the land of the blest, 
In glory to join with his fathers at rest. 



116 EONEGUSKI. 

The soul of Santuchee no longer bends low ; — 
His hand once again rests in strength on his bow ; 
The tears which Wattuna wept warm o'er her son 
Have ceas'd ; and smiles follow, for vengeance is done. 

If Welch was painfully affected by what he saw and 
heard previously, what a vast increase of distress must 
he have experienced, when, hearing- this unearthly 
being chiming; in with Santuchee and Chuheluh, and 
urging him to the commission of a deed against which 
all his feelings revolted 1 Nor was it less appalling to 
find the thoughts of his heart, thus known and alluded 
to, without either question or prompting. He threw 
himself at the feet of the Saga — " Dread Being," he 
exclaimed, " tell me, I adjure you, by what means the 
secrets of my heart have been laid open, and how you 
became acquainted with the subject upon which I have 
come to apply to you for counsel ?" 

The Prophet paused for a moment, as if to recollect 
himself, and then commenced rocking to and fro, as 
before, when the poetic tide began again to flow : — 

Spirit who waits on the Saga's call, 
Come, oh come, from thy cloudy hall, 
And tell to the mortal, who asks to know, 
Who secret things to the Seer doth show ? 

There was a pause of a moment, and a voice in 
another tone and manner responded: — 

The naked Spirit flies through ocean, earth, and skies ; 

It rides upon the storm in a cherub's viewless form ; 

In the zephyr's gentle breath it sweeps o'er hill and heath ; 

In the sun's meridian ray, unseen, it loves to play ; 

In the silver moon-beam bright it joys to sport at night ; 

There is nothing done by men without the Spirit's ken ; 

And all it swiftly bears to the ancient Saga's ears. 

" Trifle not with the credulity of a poor mortal," 
said Welch; "drive him not to madness, by filling his 
soul with thy terrors. I came not to consult the powers 
of an invisible world, but to bow before one of my own 



EONEGUSKI. 117 

race, to whom age hath given wisdom, and ask his 
advice in matters by which I am greatly perplexed." 

The Saga was now still, and his lips appeared not to 
move, but Welch distinctly heard, as if it proceeded 
from his chest, what follows : — 

Wretch profane ! who dares to tread 

The sacred floor, where Spirits walk ; 
Ruin hovers o'er thy head, 

As, o'er the bird, the furnished hawk. 

Hence ! nor tempt the Saga's rage ; — 

Question not his magic pow'r ; 
Wisdom falls from lips of age ; 

This is inspiration's hour. 

Hence ! nor dare to question more ; 

Thou hast heard the doom of fate ; 
Pass again the charmed door ; 

Let thy bosom swell with hate. 

Vengeance to thy bosom take — 

Cherish her with pious care ; 
Thoughts congenial there awake ; 

For deeds of blood thy soul prepare. 

Grasp the rifle — bare the knife ; 

Take the war-club, stain'd with gore ; 
Wait not for the equal strife, 

But quickly say, " He lives no more." 

Then fly thee again to the white man's home, 
Where the red man's vengeance dare not come ; 

And there, in gloomy patience wait 

What more remains of the doom of fate. 

" Is pity to be found no where ?" said Welch, plain- 
tively. " In the land of the white man the ministers 
of the Great Spirit are ever the friends of peace, and to 
them I have heard, the distressed and broken-heart- 
ed never apply in vain for consolation. Does not the 
Great Spirit demand peace among the red men, as well 
as among the white ? And ought not the prophets of 
the red men, like the priests of the white, to be a refuge 



118 EONEGTJSKI. 

from the evil spirit, when he whispers thoughts of dark- 
ness to the soul of the unhappy V 

The Saga once more began to rock himself, and 
speak to the effect following : — 

Come lion spirit, come and pour- 
In fierce wild torrents bid them roll — 

Thoughts, which shall valor rouse once more 
Upon the trembling coward's soul. 

All fill'd with passions fierce and bold, 
Give him again the red man's heart ; 

Or press the drop out pale and cold 
Infus'd there by the white man's art. 

The hoarse growl of a lion now seemed to come 
from beneath the seat of the Saga, and again, Avhile 
he forbore to rock himself, and his lips were motion- 
less, words to the following effect proceeded from his 
chest : — 

In haste from distant lands I come, 

Obedient to the Saga's call ; 
I leave my sandy desert home 

To loose thee Valor from thy thrall. 

Come, rouse thee from thy leaden sleep ; 

Let pale-faced Fear before thee fly ; 
Let Mercy cease weak tears to weep ; 

No more in rest inglorious lie. 

Why should the women raise the song, 

And taunting ask, where Cheasquah lies ; 
" Squaws only to his race belong," 
They sing ; "his blood for vengeance cries. 

" Cheasquah can never chase the deer — 

" A spirit o'er the Elysian plains, 
" Until a fierce young brave appear, 

" Who boasts his blood within his veins. 

" Henceforth will ne'er be seen again 
" Santuchee's blood in war or chase ; 

" No Indian maid will ever deign 
" To match with his degraded race." 



EONEGUSKI. 119 

" This is too much," said Welch, rising from his re- 
cumbent posture. — " You will drive me to madness." 

The hissing and rattling now recommenced with 
increased fury, and, intermingled with them, were arti- 
culate sounds, which appeared to come from a dis- 
tance. 

Coward begone 

From the wizard's home ! 
Warriors alone, 

Or the brave, there come. 

But slaves like thee, 

With a white man's heart, 
He scorns to see ; 

So in haste depart. 

The Saga's scorn 

Henceforth shall pursue, 
From e'en to morn, 

Such a wretch as you. 

The door opes wide — 

Haste — quickly away ! 
Thy doom is tri'd ; 

Then why dost thou stay ? 

The door grated on its hinges, and, hopeless of 
gathering any thing comfortable, Welch, in obedience 
to the intimation he had received, retreated from the 
wigwam, like many wiser men, with his malady much 
increased through the unwise means to which he had 
resorted for a cure. He had scarcely passed the thresh- 
old of the Prophet's residence, with trembling knees 
and tottering footsteps, when a heavy and unusually 
long war-club, apparently cast away by accident, invited 
him to take it up, as a support in walking. He ac- 
cepted the invitation, and with a countenance wildly 
staring, passed on, he knew not whither. His mind 
had been too deeply agitated to think of inquiries con- 
cerning his parentage, and was now so unsettled as to 
be scarcely conscious of the absence of his companion 
Chuheluh. But he had not proceeded far, when he 



120 EONEGUSKI. 

discovered him in conversation with another Indian, and 
both were evidently much excited. Welch was natu- 
rally attracted towards them, and, as he approached, 
heard the Fox saying — " Chuheluh is old, and the 
Leech is yet in the prime of life. — Would the Leech 
slay Chuheluh, as he did Cheasquah'?" 

" What is Cheasquah to you 2" said the Leech-: "Art 
thou not an Eonee, base wretch as thou art? Let any 
of the race of Cheasquah," continued the excited In- 
dian, " ask the Leech for his blood — he is ready to 
answer him ;" looking fiercely towards John Welch. 

" I am here," said Welch, in a state approaching the 
very confines of madness, " and I belong to the race of 
Cheasquah." 

" Liar !" said the Leech, " thou art one of the pale 
faces ; the race of Santuchee are women; but I despise 
a pale face more than a woman." 

" Dost thou despise me ?" said Welch ; " Dost thou 
despise the gray hairs of Santuchee ?" 
" I do," replied the Leech. 

" It is enough!" said Welch. — " It is mine to take 
vengeance for the blood of Cheasquah, and for the 
wrong done to the gray hairs of Santuchee." 

He slung the war-club with his whole force, and the 
Leech lay at his feet weltering in blood. 

Welch stood petrified with horror, like Cain, the first 
murderer, when Heaven's vicegerent in his own bosom, 
demanded of him, in those accents more awful than the 
vollied thunder, " Where is thy brother ?" 

There was commotion in Sugar Town. Its inha- 
bitants ran together to the bloody scene, and amongst 
them came a young female, in affright and agony of 
spirit. She ran to the dying man — threw herself on 
the ground beside him, and placed his head upon her 
lap — she called wildly his name, and anon entreated 
him in the most moving accents, to speak to her. But 
alike vain were both her cries and her intreaties — a seal 
had been placed upon those lips, which even the spell 
of love could not remove. Nothing was left to the 



EONEGUSKI. 121 

poor Indian maiden but to use all her simple art to 
smooth the passage of the spirit of her young- warrior 
from its bloody tenement. The crowd of spectators were 
gratified by that deed of blood which was not to many 
of them entirely unexpected, and by which a long desired 
revenge was accomplished. But the joy which lighted 
up all other countenances, kindled not in the heart 
of the desolate maiden, who ever and anon tenderly 
wiped away from the lips of the dying man the bloody 
froth which bubbled from between them. For Welch, 
therefore, there seemed little cause to apprehend im- 
mediate ill consequences for what he had done ; but 
far other thoughts than those of present personal 
danger weighed upon his heart, and banished every 
purpose of flight. 

How long he would have remained like a fixed 
statue, contemplating the dying agonies of the Leech, 
it is impossible to say; but he was waked from his 
reverie by Chuheluh, entreating him earnestly to fly. 
" The avenger of blood is behind you," he said, "and 
will soon be upon you — fly then, while the cry of the 
hunter is yet at a distance. — Fly," continued he, "to the 
white settlements, for there is no more safety for Welch 
among the Cherokees." 

Chuheluh was confident that the bereaved maiden 
would be anxious, as soon as the life had departed from 
tlie Leech, to put some avenger upon the track of the 
slayer, and dropped the last expression as a ruse, for he 
was far from designing that Welch should fly to the 
white settlements. Meantime he continued to lead him 
away, until they were out of sight of Sugar Town, 
when he took a direction precisely opposite to that 
he had indicated. They were scarcely gone, before the 
arrival of Eoneguski, whose part in the matter has been 
already described by himself. 

We have thus seen several persons variously contri- 
buting to bring Welch into his present difficulty, but 
they were all actuated by different motives. Santuchee 

VOL. I. 1 1. 



122 EONEGUSKI. 

disclosed his in the very act of soliciting Welch to the 
deed of blood — a sincere and undisguised desire to be 
revenged on the murderer of his son, as well in obe- 
dience to the dictates of untutored nature, as a sense of 
duty, according to the notions concerning it in which 
he had been brought up. The Prophet had motives 
personal to himself, in desiring to have Welch expelled 
from the Indian country, and gladly laid hold of the 
occasion presented, of exerting all his skill as a conjurer, 
to spur him on to the perpetration of a deed which 
would probably cause his death, or compel him to fly 
from the Indian country. Chuheluh wished the death 
of the Leech, for reasons which have been already men- 
tioned, and, in the advancement of his purpose, had used 
Welch as an instrument, and taken every means in his 
power to fashion him to the end. It was for this, after 
having exhausted upon him all his own artful logic, 
that he brought him within reach of the fascinations of 
the Saga. He designedly suffered Welch to precede him 
on their arrival at the wigwam, knowing that he himself 
would be excluded upon the entrance of the first visiter. 
If the Saga succeeded in affecting the mind of Welch, 
according to his hopes and expectations, the Fox was 
fully aware of the advantage to be derived from the 
readiness of a suitable weapon, and accordingly placed 
the war-club in the tempting situation in which it was 
found by Welch. This he did, anticipating what 
happened most favorably for the plans of the tempt- 
ers of the unfortunate man, that the Leech was attract- 
ed to Sugar Town, on this very day, by his ill-fated 
attachment to the girl whom we saw administering to 
him, with so much solicitude, in his death struggle. 
Their affection was mutual, and had been of long stand- 
ing, but Cheasquah had also been a suiter to the maiden, 
and was the favorite of her parents, as the only son of 
Santuchee, their chief, and the probable heir of his pro- 
perty and honors. This rivalry made the two suiters 
prompt to engage in a quarrel, which terminated fatally 



EONEGUSKI. 123 

for Cheasquah, and stirred up a vengeance no less fatal 
to the other : and thus did the poor girl prove the inno- 
cent cause of the death of both her lovers. 

The death of Cheasquah had of course interrupted 
all correspondence between the Leech and his sweet- 
heart, but they had recently renewed it with increased 
tenderness. They nattered themselves that the cloud 
which had hung so long and threateningly over their 
prospects, had passed away — that age had extinguished 
the fire of Santuchee, and that no one else, since so many 
moons had gone by, would care to avenge the blood of 
Cheasquah. Filled with these cheering hopes, the 
Leech was making his way to the object of his love, 
when he met with the Fox, with whom we have already 
seen he was at perpetual strife. The Fox hailed the 
expected and auspicious event, and contrived to provoke 
the Leech, by referring to the arrival of an avenger for 
the slaughtered Cheasquah. Insulting language passed 
between them, and they had both become much excited 
when the Fox perceiving Welch approaching, in a 
state bordering on madness, adroitly brought back the 
conversation to the death of Cheasquah. The Leech 
had heard of the adopted son of Santuchee, and the? 
speculations idly bandied about, that he might attempt 
the long deferred vengeance of his family, and accord- 
ingly bore himself towards him with that appearance 
of bullying contempt, so natural to the situation in 
which he was placed, and thus brought on a catas- 
trophe which might otherwise have been avoided. 



124 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER XIII 



A price upon his houseless head. — 

Oh ! his are wrongs, that, but with death 

From burning memory can depart ; 

All the pure waters of the faith 

Could wash them ne'er from human heart. 

Yamoyden. 

It is consolatory to believe that there is truth in that 
beautiful sentence in Byron, " None are all evil," &c; 
and that, amid the rank weeds of depravity, by which 
many hearts are overrun, there is always some flower 
of excellence flourishing in unusual beauty. Man is 
not like the devils, given over to unqualified depravity, 
he is only "very far gone from original righteousness ;" 
and, in the confusion of his moral wreck, there are 
here and there some rich portions of the property of 
Heaven, with which his vessel was in the beginning so 
abundantly freighted. 

Chuheluh was ambitious and vain, vindictive, dis- 
honest, and artful, but he was brave, and would undergo 
no less toil and danger to discharge an admitted debt 
of gratitude, than he would to resent an injury he 
had either sustained or imagined. Having therefore 
achieved his object through the instrumentality of 
Welch, he was seriously desirous to avert from his in- 
strument the more immediate and dangerous conse- 
quences of his act, and was accordingly conducting him 
towards the Unaka, or Unacoy Mountain, with the in- 
tention of finding a retreat for him at old Chota, among 
the Overhill Cherokees. They had not progressed far, 
however, before the mind of Welch began to act for 
itself, and a longing desire seized upon it to return to 
the scenes of his childhood, and he felt that his consci- 
ence would be eased of half its burden, and his person 



EONEGUSKI. 125 

relieved from more than half its danger, if he could 
once more breathe an atmosphere sanctified by the 
presence of Atha Aymor. 

" Chuheluh is leading John Welch," he first broke 
silence, "where his back is upon the mid-day sun," — 
pointing at the same time towards the south — "he must 
go in that direction in which his face will meet it as it 
rises in the morning, over the Cowee Mountain." 

" Why will the young man throw away his life?" 
replied the Fox. " Did I not say that Chuheluh is 
wise? — he will lead the young man to a place of 
safety." 

" There is but one place of safety for John Welch," 
he said, " and that is far away over the Cowee Moun- 
tain." 

" Thither the men of Eonee will pursue thee," re- 
plied the Fox, " and the young man will fall by their 
rifles, as the deer which bounds among the cliffs, 
thoughtless of danger; but let my brother follow the 
steps of Chuheluh, and he will lead him where he may 
lie down like the cautious stag, among the thick woven 
ivy, where the keen eye of the hunter cannot pierce." 

" John Welch is the stag, in whose side the arrow of 
the hunter is already fastened; he pants for the cool 
streams of his far away home; let him take a last re- 
freshing draught from their limpid currents, and lie 
down beside them and die." 

" Let cowards die !" said the Fox; "but John Welch 
is a brave man, and he will fight against death like 
another enemy, and when he can resist him no longer, 
then, and not till then, will he give up and say — I am 
not afraid." 

" It is not the fear of death which is heavy on my 
soul," replied Welch; "I fear the Great Spirit, it is 
true, but he knows the hearts of his children, and will 
pity them. But I have done wickedly, and the faces of 
those I love will be dark when they hear it. I will 
go back to them and ask their forgiveness and die." 

Long and warm was the struggle between the Fox 
11* 



126 EONEGUSKI. 

and his protege ; the former to prevent, and the latter to 
urge, his return to the settlements. At length Welch 
remarked, " I must go. — It was the word of the Pro- 
phet, who bade me slay the Leech, that I should fly to 
the home of the white man, and there I should be safe 
from the vengeance of the red. Urge me no further, 
it is my fate." 

" It is enough," said the Fox, "Go ! — Let us obey the 
voice of the Great Prophet, for he utters words of wis- 
dom! But you go not alone. Chuheluh will guide 
your returning footsteps to the white settlements, and 
you shall be safe from the Eonee, for Chuheluh is 
wise." 

They now turned hastily in a direction nearly at 
right angles with the one they had been pursuing, the 
Fox leading, and Welch closely following him. Little 
discourse, however, passed between them, each being 
seemingly engaged in his own reflections, until the sun 
began to sink behind the Nantahala Mountains. As 
its broad red disk rested for an instant upon the very 
summit of the ridge, it caught the eye of Welch, and a 
deep sigh escaped him. 

" The thoughts of my brother are sad," said the Fox, 
stopping suddenly, and looking full upon him. 

" They are sad," replied Welch — " For the first time 
yon sun is leaving John Welch to the gloom of a 
night whose shades are thickened by the consciousness 
of guilt. This morning I welcomed him as a visiter 
from the land of shadows, full of the smiles of love 
and happiness, sent by the Great Spirit to his children. 
Now he is bearing back those treasures in seeming 
sadness, and leaving desolate that world which was 
unworthy to enjoy them, and especially from me — 
wretched me — to whom they may never return. This 
morning its beams were reflected by the cheerful 
glances of the Leech and the Indian maiden, full of 
the happy thought that his rays would light them to 
each other. Now they fall upon the heavy sightless 
lids of the Leech, and the dark tearful lashes of the 



EONEGUSKI. 



127 



maiden. To-morrow he will come again, but he will 
bring no joy to the eye of the maiden — no warmth to 
the heart of the Leech. He will chase away the 
shadows of the night, which are now gathering around 
us, but he will not chase away the shadows of guilt — 
he will not bring again the light of innocence to the 
heart of John Welch." 

" Umph," said the Fox, contemptuously, and walked 
on. 

There was a religious pathos in the language of 
Welch, the Fox did not exactly comprehend, and he 
was provoked to see that Welch was so obstinately 
bent upon being miserable, while he was industriously 
engaged in providing for his safety. Besides, it was 
a cutting reproof to himself, as the principal author of 
this complicated ruin, over which Welch was so feelingly 
lamenting. 

When it was quite dark they found themselves in the 
midst of a thick morass, where the evergreens, cluster- 
ing around and amongst the close growth of other tim- 
ber now stripped of its foliage, furnished a tolerable 
nocturnal retreat from pursuit, however illy it might 
have served that purpose in the day time. 

" Here," said the Fox, " we are not far from Eonee. 
We shall require meal and a gourd — Chuheluh will go 
and fetch them — Let the young man wait his return." 

" Will you not betray me to the Eonee ?" inquired 
Welch, anxiously. 

" Why should I ?" replied the Fox ; u have I not told 
you I loved not the Leech?" 

So saying, he waited not a reply from Welch, whom 
he left in no enviable condition, either of mind or body. 
Standing in a cold marshy piece of ground, (the damp- 
ness of which to be sure was somewhat diminished by 
its partially frozen state,) oppressed with the conscious- 
ness of a crime to which he had been most strangely 
and fatally lead — without security that one of those who 
had been most instrumental in leading him to its per- 
petration, would not avail himself of his power of betray- 



126 EONEGUSKI. 

ing him into the hands of those who were probably 
already in pursuit, with purposes of vengeance — expo- 
sed to the accidental encounter of some human wander- 
er, whose curiosity might be as fatal to him as a more 
ferocious passion — or to the visit of some famished bear 
or panther, whose hunger might impel him to deeds of 
unwonted boldness — had Welch to chew the cud of bit- 
ter fancy, unmixed with sweetness. 

" Oh ! Atha Aymor," he exclaimed internally, " into 
what troubles have I been precipitated by my ill-fated 
passion. For how many years wert thou the sunshine 
of happiness upon my path. Pursuing by its holy 
light the visions of hope, my feet pressed not upon the 
thorns of guilt. But a cloud has passed between us, 
and I have wandered in darkness, beset with dangers 
and difficulties. Blindly flying from sorrow, I have 
fallen upon guilt, and am pierced to agony by its stings. 
Weak and exhausted, let me once more find thee — -let 
me hear thy lips pronounce the assurance of forgive- 
ness, and I will lie down in quiet, and the heart of 
John Welch will be still forever." 

In reflections such as these, time passed on, until all 
the painful circumstances of his situation were enhanced 
by duration. At length he heard bold firm steps advan- 
cing towards him, as they crumpled the frozen leaves, 
and shattered the thin ice with which the little water 
puddles were coated. The crisis of his fate seemed now 
approaching; and that life, which he had just before 
so coolly thought of resigning, regained in his esti- 
mation its original value, and he felt instinctively he 
would do much to preserve it. But what could he do"? 
Flight was now hopeless, and to attempt it would but 
attract with certainty the notice of this nocturnal travel- 
ler. Welch was entirely without weapons, for even the 
war-club, the instrument of his violence, had been left 
at Sugar Town, to witness against him by the blood 
upon it. His only plan then was, by perfect silence, to 
avail himself of the security against detection, afforded 
by night and the thickness of his swampy retreat. But 



EONEGUSKI. 129 

the very necessity for silence seemed to stir his heart 
to such violent throbbing-, that its sound alone might 
have attracted an ear of any quickness. But this was 
not all — he became more keenly sensible of the chil- 
liness of the night, and the excited muscles began to 
quiver, until they caused his teeth to rattle, as though 
he were in an ague fit. 

About one hundred yards from the place of his con- 
cealment the Tennessee River was gushing along, and 
reflecting from its rippled bosom the numerous stars of 
a winter night ; and through the openings in the bushes, 
by which he was surrounded, Welch caught glimpses 
here and there of a portion of its stream. Endeavor- 
ing, in obedience to that very feeling which had stirred 
them into action, to silence those noisy indications of 
fear, already mentioned, they became more violent, and 
the hair of his flesh rose up as he perceived, between 
him and the river, immediately opposite one of those 
openings, in the shrubbery, the distinctly marked 
outline of an Indian warrior, with his rifle on his 
shoulder. At that instant, in the excitement of interest- 
ed observation, Welch threw more weight than had 
hitherto rested upon his forward leg, and caused some 
portion of his unsure footing to give way, with consi- 
derable noise. Quick as thought was the click of the 
Indian's rifle, as he checked his onward career, and 
turned his face in the direction of Welch. But the 
latter could not distinguish any feature. All that he 
could perceive as he stood between him and the bright 
water which flowed at his back, was the clear outline 
of the warrior and his rifle, as though they had been 
cut out of some opaque body, and fixed upon a bright 
luminous ground. After a moment's pause, " Humph !" 
muttered the Indian to himself, "it is nothing," and pur- 
sued his way. He passed on, and gave Welch an oppor- 
tunity of drawing a long breath, and relieving his lungs 
from the pressure of the air, which his half suppressed 
respiration had kept for some time confined. 

Presently he heard a voice ; it was Eoneguski's — 



130 EONEGUSKI. 

" The Leech is dead," he said, mournfully. " Umph !" 
replied the person addressed, " When did he die t? ? 

" The sun when it rose," replied the first speaker, 
" laughed joyously in the face of the Leech, it went 
down in sadness upon the last sleep of the young war- 
rior." 

"Was he struck by men, or the Great Spirit?" in- 
quired the second speaker, in which Welch recognised 
the voice of the Fox. 

" The hand of the murderer is red with his blood," 
replied Eoneguski ; "the red man has died by the hand 
of the pale face." 

" Show me his path," with well affected excitement, 
said the Fox, "and Chuheluh will avenge the blood of 
the Leech." 

" Chuheluh must not go," said Eoneguski; "Eone- 
guski is not a woman. They must not ask Eoneguski 
where is the blood of the Leech". 

" It is well;" said the Fox. — " Who is the pale faced 
murderer, and whither will Eoneguski go in search of 
him?" 

" It is John Welch," replied Eoneguski, " he hath 
fled to the white settlements ; but the foot of Eoneguski 
is swift, and his aim is sure ; and Welch ishall fall among 
the pale faces, like the stag among the herd of deer, and 
none shall see the hunter whose shaft has drank his 
blood." 

" It is well," said the Fox, " the Great Spirit will 
speed Eoneguski on his errand, but to night he will rest 
in the wigwam of his father ; the next sun will find the 
young warrior refreshed for his journey." 

" It is well," replied Eoneguski. 

" A flock of turkeys," said the Fox, " are in yonder 
swamp. I will find them on their perch, and placing 
them between me and the stars, will supply a feast for 
Eoneguski, when he returns from the slaughter of his 
enemy." 

" They are there," said Eoneguski, " I heard some 
of the branches, as I passed, falling with their weight." 



E0NEGU8KI. 131 

The two speakers now separated, passing each other, 
and pursuing their way in opposite directions. 

It may well be imagined that the feelings of Welch 
were much wrought upon during this dialogue. By it 
he distinctly learned, that the danger he so narrowly 
escaped, had in no degree been magnified by imagina- 
tion, and, what was to him, under present circumstances, 
a matter of no slight moment, he was pretty satisfac- 
torily informed, that for some reason, best known to 
himself, Chuheluh had a sincere purpose and desire to 
enable him to escape his pursuer, and that time for 
flight would be afforded him. He had not space, 
however, for much reflection, when he was rejoined by 
the Fox. "Come," said the latter, in a whisper, " you 
may gain the start of the avenger. Chuheluh is wise, 
and knows from whence to expect danger, and how 
to escape it." 

Welch perceived that the Fox was not aware of his 
having overheard the conversation between him and 
Eoneguski, and, perhaps, by ears less anxiously atten- 
tive than those of Welch, it would not have been heard, 
but he resolved, for his own better satisfaction, to probe 
him a little further on the subject. 

" Did not Chuheluh converse with some one just 
now?" inquired Welch. 

" Why does my brother ask?" replied Chuheluh. 

" Because I thought I heard at a distance the sound 
of human voices." 

" It was but the murmuring of the river," replied the 
Fox — " Hush ! do you not hear it now ?" 

V It is well ;" replied Welch, fully satisfied that the 
Fox had his own reasons for wishing him to suppose 
he was not indebted to any ordinary means for the infor- 
mation he possessed. Whatever might be his motive, 
Welch was determined to humor him, and forbore to 
give any intimation of what he had overheard. 



132 EONEGUSKI. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Then through the forest's tangled way, 

*********** 

Their path the Indians hold ; 

Each stepping where the first had gone, 

'Twas but the mark of one. 

Yamoyden. 

There is, perhaps, no moral phenomenon more 
striking- than that complete control, which, in seasons of 
difficulty, superior knowledge gives to one mind over 
another. On these occasions even vanity, which, in the 
quiet of ordinary life, contends so powerfully in each 
mind for its own high rank, and disdain of a superior, 
is hushed into silence, and quietly suffers the tame 
submission. All factitious circumstances are forgotten, 
and with the meekness of childhood, the lessons of ex- 
perience are listened to and obeyed until the danger is 
overpast. 

Being convinced of Chuheluh's purposes to deliver 
him, and of an experience on his part in such matters 
greatly surpassing his own, Welch passively yielded 
himself to his dictation. Obedient to a signal, he fol- 
lowed him down to the river, where they found a 
canoe tied, into which they entered without speaking. 
Chuheluh plied the paddle, and by the time they had 
fairly left one shore, the prow of the canoe rested upon 
the other. In the same silent manner they left the 
river, and walked rapidly on in the direction of the 
Cowee Mountain, which they soon began to ascend, 
without much diminution of their speed. But it was 
not long ere Welch found himself obliged to entreat 
his companion that their pace might be slackened, as 
his strength was not adequate to the exertion he was 
making, and must soon fail altogether, and leave him 
in the power of his enemies. " Courage," replied the 
Fox, " a place of rest and refreshment is at hand." 



EONEGUSKI. 133 

A deer now bounded across their path, and, in a 
moment more, was struggling upon the ground, pierced 
by an arrow from the bow of Chuheluh. The Fox 
drew out his scalping-knife, and, having stripped the 
skin from the brawny part of the thigh of the deer, cut 
out several large slices, and deposited them in a kind of 
knapsack, which he carried slung across his shoulders, 
beneath his blanket. Having taken off his knapsack, he 
handed it to Welch, intimating that he should carry it. 
Welch found it not without weight, containing, besides 
the meat, and a gourd of about a pint measure, a peck 
of parched corn, beat or ground into meal. They 
then resumed their walk, after the loss of but little time, 
until they reached the summit of the mountain. 

Upon the very crest, from whence they had a com- 
manding view down both its sides, Chuheluh selected 
a spot where, from the appearance of the trees, an 
abundant harvest of chestnuts had been deposited 
among the leaves, with which the ground was pretty 
thickly covered. Having scraped away a quantity of 
the leaves, for about a yard in circumference, so as to 
make the ground entirely bare, they proceeded to kindle 
a fire of sticks, and then to scoop out the earth from a 
moist place in the side of the mountain, scarcely deserv- 
ing the name of a spring. The hollow they had form- 
ed, however, soon filled itself with water, of which they 
were enabled to dip a gourdful at a time, neither very 
clear nor well tasted, though not at all deficient in 
one of the most important qualrties of good water — 
coldness. In the gourd Chuheluh deposited a handful 
of meal, and filled it with water, then having stirred 
about the preparation, until the meal and water was 
thoroughly blended, drank it off with evident gusto, 
and Welch followed his example. By the time these 
arrangements were completed their fire had burnt into 
glowing embers, upon which Chuheluh laid some of the 
slices of venison, and, notwithstanding his mental suf- 
ferings, and, unaided as the venison was by either bread 
or salt, Welch found it very savory fare. Having thus 

vol. i.— 12. 



134 EONEGUSKI. 

completed their meal, the Fox proceeded to extinguish 
the fire, and to scatter about the leaves hither and 
thither, baring the ground for a few inches, in several 
places within the circumference of many yards. 

" If one shall come to this spot," said the Fox, " he 
will not think the sons of men have been feasting here, 
but that the hog or turkey has been turning up the 
leaves in search of mast. — My brother will watch by 
me," he added, " until Chuheluh shall refresh himself 
with sleep, and then, in turn, I will watch by my bro- 
ther." 

Without waiting for a reply, the Fox wrapped his 
blanket about him, and coiling himself up at the root 
of a large tree, was soon in a sound sleep. Welch 
was much refreshed by the nourishment he had taken, 
but a disposition to sleep stole over him as he listened 
to the monotonous music of the snoring Fox, he was 
scarcely able to resist. Indeed, he began to be serious- 
ly apprehensive, he would fail in his duty, as a watch- 
ful sentinel, and prove himself unworthy the confi- 
dence which, from the apparent composure of his sleep, 
the Fox reposed in him. Fortunately, however, for 
Welch, the tax upon his vigilance was not greater than 
he was able to bear, for in a much shorter time than he 
could have believed possible, the Fox had completed his 
slumbers; and, arising with a snort — "Sleep," said he 
to Welch : and Welch, without waiting for a second 
invitation, gladly availed himself of the one received, 
and was quickly in that state, which, like death, its 
great prototype, levels all distinctions — in which visions 
of happiness and misery come with equal pace to the 
tempest rocked sea boy, and the luxurious loiterer on 
the thrice driven bed of down. 

The dreams of Welch were of mingled pain and 
pleasure ; but, such as they were, Chuheluh watched 
over his slumbers with as much apparent patience as 
could the tenderest mother over the roseate slumbers 
of her first born. After a time, however, his manner 
changed: and as the sleep of Welch was protracted he 



EONEGUSKI. 135 

became restless, looking out with increased anxiety in 
the direction they had come, and ever and anon east- 
wardly, as if in search of something from both quarters. 
At length, far in the east, a fire appeared to be kindling 
upon the top of the Blue Mountains. 

"Come," said the Fox, shaking his companion, "you 
can sleep no longer — the Fox slumbers not while the 
hound is on his trail. — Look yonder," continued he, as 
the rays of light came stealing towards them, while 
the top of the distant mountain, over against them, 
seemed, for a considerable extent, in a blaze. Welch 
started up in surprise, and cast his eye in the direction 
indicated. And now a bright round object was just 
appearing above the trees, which crowned the opposite 
mountain. 

" It is the moon," said Welch. 

" It is the moon," replied the Fox ; " we must be 
going.'[ 

Having restored the place from whence they had 
obtained their needful but scanty supply of water, as 
nearly as possible to the condition in which they had 
found it, the Fox indicated to Welch his wish that he 
should precede him, as well as the direction he should 
take, and followed after him, carefully restoring every 
leaf displaced by his footsteps, and every bough and 
twig he removed in his progress, to their original 
position. 

They pursued their way without speaking, for several 
miles, until, by a circuitous route, they reached the 
Tuckasege. They walked down the margin of that 
stream for some distance, until they found a canoe, into 
which they both leaped, but instead of striking directly 
across, Chuheluh paddled up the stream, until they 
reached a landing nearly opposite the place where they 
first came to the river. Here the Fox sprung into 
the water, and turning the canoe adrift, signified to 
Welch to follow his example, and waded some distance 
farther up, in the edge of the stream, when suddenly 
pulling aside a parcel of shrubbery, overhanging the 



136 EONEGTTSKI. 

water, disclosed to Welch a cave, a little above the pre- 
sent level of the current. 

" This," said he, "is a place where a fox has often 
found security from his pursuers;" and so saying, bent 
himself to creep in ; but his entrance was disputed by 
one of those animals. The quadruped was in no way 
disposed to quit her rightful possession, in favor of the 
biped, but, with a couple of half grown cubs at her 
back, seemed resolved upon maintaining it. But a 
dexterous blow with the tomahawk of Chuheluh, soon 
settled the controversy, by laying the old fox dead, 
whilst the young ones scampered past them, terrified 
at the overthrow of their champion. Chuheluh now 
entered the cave, followed by Welch, where they 
found more than room enough for them both to lie, 
in considerable comfort, in a fine warm atmosphere. 
The cave was so situated as, through the shrubbery, to 
command a view of the river for some distance both 
above and below. The Tuckasege hear represents a 
large bow very much bent, and the cave was about the 
point where the arrow would have crossed it in the act 
of shooting. 

" Here," said Chuheluh, "with plenty of food, pro- 
vided the river did. not rise upon us, we should be per- 
fectly secure from pursuit j but our food is scarce, and 
on the very first rain, the water will be certain to fill 
up our cave. Our stay, then, must be a short one, but 
it will be sufficient to enable us to dodge our pur- 
suer, and the young man shall see that Chuheluh is 
wise." 

The canoe they had left had floated calmly down 
the stream, and lodged against the opposite bank, at the 
lower extremity of the arc, being about the same place 
from whence they had taken it. This was not con- 
formable to the wishes and calculations of Chuheluh, 
who intended it should have proceeded without interrup- 
tion far down the river. Our two adventurers in their 
comfortable retreat, renewed their convenient arrange- 
ment of watching and sleeping by turns, although 



EONEGUSKI. 137 

Chuheluh, in generous consideration of the greater 
necessity of his companion, did much more than an equal 
share of the former. This unequal necessity might be 
partially owing to the different habits of the two persons, 
but was, probably, not altogether independent of their 
respective ages. Nature seems to have provided sleep, 
in part, at least, as a state in which the motion of the 
complicated animal machine, being for a time suspend- 
ed or retarded, she may, with the more convenience, 
repair any loss or derangement in its minute springs 
or pivots ; but in age, the great mechanic being about 
to cast aside her work, as no longer worthy of repair, 
permits it to run on as it may, with fewer and shorter 
checks in its operations. 

It was after Welch had enjoyed a long interval of re- 
pose, that he felt the hand of Chuheluh laid upon his 
own. It awoke him, and he could scarcely realize the 
situation in which he found himself. There lay out 
before, and nearly on a level with him, the waters 
of the Tuckasege, the smallest rise in whose stream 
would force them in, to smother him in certain death. 
The sun was now shining upon them with the chilly 
lustre of a winter morning, and they were sending 
up towards heaven light fleeces of vapor, as if in ex- 
change for the scant supply of warmth he was pouring 
upon them. The fanciful divines of other days would 
have likened it to the incense of piety, ascending in 
grateful return for the kindly visitation of the Sun of 
Righteousness. Chuheluh laid his finger on his lip, 
and pointed in the direction of the canoe. It was still 
swinging lazily backwards and forwards: as forced 
in by the current, it would strike against the bank and 
recoil again upon the stream. But the shore was not 
as they had left it — lone and tenantless. One now 
stood upon its brink, in the habiliments of a warrior, 
tall, strong, and active. The dead fox had adhered to 
the side of the canoe, attracted, as is usual, for a smaller 
body by a larger, when floating in a fluid — it drew the 
attention of the warrior, who took it up — examined its 

12* 



138 EONEGUSKI. 

blood-boltered head, and threw it back again into the 
waters, to be carried whithersoever they might please. 
He then looked about in every direction, and seemed 
bewildered. He walked up and down the bank, ex- 
amining carefully for foot prints, and seemed dissatisfied 
with the result of his investigation. 

" It is Eoneguski," whispered the Fox : " With a 
good rifle, John Welch might send him to his friend, 
the Leech, and then fly away to the white settlements, 
secure from pursuit. John Welch should be welcome 
to the bow of Chuheluh, but he is unpractised in the 
use of the bow, and the distance is considerable. What 
would my brother say if Chuheluh were to send an 
arrow, and quiet forever the fears of John Welch ?" 

" Let me die rather," said Welch. 



EONEGUSKI. 139 



CHAPTER XV. 

So noiseless was their cautious tread, 
The wakeful squirrel over head, 
Knew not that aught beneath him sped. 

Yamoyden. 

Under every variety of circumstances there must 
be a vast difference in the feelings of the pursued and 
the pursuer : and in one or both of these situations every 
animated creature is sometimes found. Every man 
has experienced the throbbing apprehension and despe- 
rate despondence, which, by turns, quicken and paralyze 
the energies of the one, and the intrepid confidence 
and doubtful irresolution which alternately impel and 
retard the progress of the other. For the former, the 
great variety of expedients for escape serve, while 
they embarrass in the selection, rather to amuse the 
mind, like the speculative sciences ; while the absolute 
necessity for success on the part of the other of tend- 
ing towards the point whither the pursued is pressing, 
renders him fearful of the consequences of mistake, 
and exercises his mind like a dull mathematical pro- 
blem. But the most obvious and general difference 
between them is, that the object of the pursuer is some 
temporary gratification, and is only the preferred among 
many employments he might have found for his mind 
and body, while the pursued is usually striving for the 
preservation of life itself, or of something on which its 
value materially depends. 

Thus relatively situated, were Eoneguski and Welch. 
The former had fallen upon the trail of the latter, after 
an early outset from Eonee, with a determination of 
speedily sacrificing him to family vengeance ; and Chu- 
heluh had so managed as to impose upon him the 
belief that he was on the track of a solitary wanderer, 



140 EONEGUSKI. 

He pursued the trail until he came to the place where 
the fugitives had taken their refreshment, but owing to 
the prudent precaution of the wily Fox, was unable to 
trace it any farther. Before they reached the Tucka- 
sege, however, the Fox found that too much time 
would be lost in effacing the vestiges of their flight, 
and trusted once more to the chance of Eoneguski's 
failing to find it, and accordingly made all the haste he 
could, without regard to consequences, until they came 
to that river. Eoneguski finding himself bewildered at 
the place where the fugitives had rested, determined to 
proceed to the Tuckasege, regardless of the trail, con- 
fident, that at some of its crossing places, he would find 
the track of Welch, on his way to the white settlements. 
He accordingly fell again upon his trail, just before he 
reached the river, which conducted him to the place 
where the canoe lay. Here he was again a good deal 
puzzled — there were the tracks leading to the water, 
but none leading from it — there was the slain fox, indi- 
cating the recent presence of some human being — and 
yet there was no canoe on the other side. 

" He must have swam across," he said, to himself, 
and accordingly leaped into the canoe, and was quickly 
on the same side of the river with the undiscovered 
object of his pursuit. Here he resumed his search for 
tracks, but without success. Several times did Welch 
and Chuheluh hear his footsteps sound upon the hollow 
ground, above them, and once did his hand rustle the 
very bushes concealing the entrance of their cave. — 
And then again did the heart of Welch throb so loudly 
as to endanger his discovery, as he felt the blood rece- 
ding from his extremities. Chuheluh cast upon him a 
look of surprise, mingled with contempt, while not the 
slightest ensign of fear was exhibited in his own coun- 
tenance or manner. 

When they perceived, by the sound of his steps, that 
Eoneguski was departing — " Let him beware," whis- 
pered Chuheluh, through his clinched teeth ; " he may 
feel the fang of the snake before he hears the rattle." 



EONEGUSKI. 141 

Long and anxious was the suspense under which 
Welch remained in his place of* concealment. At 
length, when every thing had become perfectly quiet, 
Chuheluh cautiously put forth his head, and gradually 
raised himself to a level with the bank over their 
retreat, and peered carefully around in every direction. 
There lay the canoe in which he had come over, but 
Eoneguski himself was not visible. Chuheluh then 
climbed up the bank, and having been absent a few 
minutes, returned, and in a soft voice called to Welch — 
" Come," said he, " the sun is on our path, let us travel 
while it shines." 

It was not without apprehension that Welch did as 
he was directed, and, greatly refreshed, they pursued 
their journey. Chuheluh pointed out to Welch the 
trail of Eoneguski. " There he went," said he, " we 
must change our direction, unless you are willing to 
meet him like a man, and settle the matter at once." 

" I have blood enough on my hands already," said 
Welch, sighing, " for God's sake let us shun him." 

" I wish my brother was'not so much of a pale face," 
said Chuheluh, "but I am his servant, and will obey. 
Let us go on by the way of Scott's Creek, and turning 
the end of the Balsam Mountain, place it between 
us and our enemy, and whilst he is basking on its sunny 
side, thinking to slay you as you pass, we will, by a 
more circuitous route, reach the Homony in safety." 

No plan could have been more gratifying to Welch 
than this, and he accordingly adopted it with alacrity. 
They journeyed on the course thus indicated, with the 
necessary intervals for sleep and refreshment, until the 
evening of the following day, when Chuheluh stopping 
suddenly, said, "Look there!" and immediately dodged 
behind a large tree ; " that is what I was afraid of," he 
added, " and have watched closely against it." Welch 
endeavored to follow his example, at the same time 
casting his eye in the direction indicated by the Fox. 

Upon one of the loftiest pinnacles of the Balsam 
stood what had the indistinct appearance of a human 



142 EONEGUSKI. 

being, whose outline was blended with the clouds over- 
hanging the mountain. " It is he," said Chuheluh : " he 
has seen you, but I have escaped his observation." 

A loud yell now rang, as from the very heavens, with 
a descent of the dark body down the side of the moun- 
tain, with a rapidity scarcely surpassed by the flight of 
a bird. Chuheluh was convinced that he was right in 
his conjecture, that Welch had been discovered. 

" Your heels must do something for you now," said 
the Fox ; " we have a great way the start of him, it is 
true, but he has the advantage of the steep mountain 
side, and there is no time to be lost;" indicating to 
Welch the direction he should take, he himself fol- 
lowing, and treading exactly in the steps which Welch 
made, in rapid succession. The eye had been deceived 
as to the proximity of the object of their apprehen- 
sion, who, although apparently suspended immediately 
above them, was in fact a mile or two distant, and 
had now ceased to be visible. But Chuheluh was 
not satisfied with the progress of their flight. " Go on," 
said he to Welch, " as fast as you can, until you meet 
with me again; — do not even stop to look behind you, 
while I make some better provision for your safety." 

" For Heaven's sake do not kill my pursuer," said 
Welch. 

" I will not," said the Fox, " unless he forces me 
to it. — But this is no time for conversation — Haste I 
say." 

Welch felt too strongly the urgency of his case to 
hesitate, but flew onward with his utmost speed. The 
Fox retraced, for some distance, the way over which 
Welch and he had passed, carefully effacing their foot- 
marks, and all other signs of their passage ; then 
diverging from it by an angle of about twenty degrees, 
he returned in a different direction so as to divide his 
own track from that of Welch more and more distantly 
the farther they both advanced. This latter track he 
took care to make exceedingly plain, so that it should 
not escape the notice of the most inattentive observer. 



EONEGUSKI. 143 

He continued this route with considerable speed, until 
he struck the base of another of those ridges of small 
mountains or large hills, with which that section of 
country is filled. Here his speed was necessarily- 
slackened, but he nevertheless continued to press for- 
ward, until nearly one half of the height had been sur- 
mounted. A chasm, not very conspicuous, in a large 
rock, attracted his practised vision, and gathering to- 
gether a quantity of leaves, and having effaced for some 
distance the appearances of his advance, he threw him- 
self into the chasm, and carefully disposing the leaves 
over him, awaited the issue of the matter with perfect 
composure. 

Eoneguski, after his fruitless search for Welch at 
the river, had determined to proceed and waylay him 
in the pass between the Balsam and the opposite ridge 
of mountains, a few miles to the westward of Waynes- 
ville, through which he supposed he would certainly 
pass. He therefore continued his way along the bed of 
Scott's Creek, which, like the Homony, described at the 
beginning of our story, conducts the traveller, by the 
most practicable way, across the ridge of mountains in 
which it takes it rise. 

But, as we have seen, guided by the sagacity of 
Chuheluh, in place of pursuing this route, Welch 
turned the point of the mountain where Scott's Creek 
sweeps around in its impetuous search for the Tucka- 
sege, into which it is continually pouring a willing tri- 
bute. This compelled them to cross the Balsam at ano- 
ther place, and fall into the valley of the Big Pigeon. 
Eoneguski was not long in discovering that his plan 
would not meet with success, and accordingly ascended 
that pinnacle of the mountain, called by way of pre- 
eminence, the Balsam, which commanded a view of 
both valleys for a great extent. This whole ridge takes 
its name from a species of fir, with w T hich it abounds, 
endowed, in the estimation of the Indians, and common 
white people, with the most sanative virtues. 

Eoneguski had just reached his elevated observatory, 



144 EONEGUSKI. 

when he was discovered by the quick eye of Chuhe- 
luh. In another instant, his own caught the object 
of his pursuit, without observing his companion. A 
yell of savage joy burst from his lips, as he stooped 
like an eagle upon his quarry. He was not long in 
getting upon the trail of the fugitive, which he followed 
with untiring speed. When he came to the point where 
Chuheiuh had made his diversion, he passed it without 
suspicion, and took the track that had been purposely 
marked for him, pursuing it until it was no longer 
perceptible. He was again at fault, and like an expe- 
rienced hound, traversed backwards and forwards, and 
endeavored to take it oft\ but in vain. " The creature 
must here," he thought to himself, " have either sunk 
into the bowels of the earth, or taken wings, and flown 
away." 

After many vain attempts to regain the thread by 
which to pursue his victim, Eoneguski determined to 
continue his ascent up the mountain, and try the effect 
of another observation from its summit. Meantime 
Chuheiuh, who had enjoyed, from his hiding place, the 
embarrassment of the pursuer, and, with difficulty re- 
strained the indulgence of his mortal feelings towards 
him, as soon as he perceived the way was clear, came 
forth, and struck off in a direction, which would cut, at 
a very acute angle, the path he had indicated to Welch. 
The latter was so worn down by his exertions that he 
was getting along at a very slow rate, scarcely exceed- 
ing that of the animal after which the river, of which so 
much has been said, is called, viz : the Tuckasege, or, 
Travelling Terapin, when Chuheiuh discovered him 
at some distance before. His own tireless strength 
enabled him soon to overtake Welch, and he was not 
long in conducting him to a place convenient for re- 
freshing themselves. 

" We are, for some time at least," said he, " safe — 
the Fox has thrown the hound far off his trail, and 
he will be long in finding it again. But our way 
must now lie immediately across the one taken by 



EONEGUSKI. 145 

Eoneguski, and, the loss of an hour or two, may be 
many days gained to us." 

It was near dusk, and a herd of swine was rooting 
about among the leaves near them. Chuheluh fixed 
his eyes upon the nearest and best looking, and the 
notch of the arrow was upon the string — 

" What are you after ?" said Welch. 

" Pork," replied the Indian, and the arrow flew. 

" Good Heavens," exclaimed Welch, " another crime. 
I know by the hogs being here in such abundance, that 
we are beyond the Indian boundary, and we shall be 
brought to the whipping post for stealing." 

" Humph," said the Indian, coolly cutting ofT a few 
slices of the pork, and laying them on the coals he had 
previously provided. He could not, however, prevail 
on Welch to share with him, although that circum- 
stance did not detract, as it seemed, in the slightest 
degree from the zest with which he devoured the pork. 
Yet Welch did not disdain a draught of the parched meal 
and water, which he found by experience as refreshing 
and nourishing a draught, under fatigue, as he had ever 
tasted. Chuheluh informed him that upon it alone the 
Indians usually performed their longest and most rapid 
journeys, and joined with Welch in his regret, that 
their stock was now so nearly exhausted, without any 
immediate prospect of a fresh supply. 

Having finished their repast, they concluded to sleep 
and watch by turns, until the rising of the moon, which 
was no sooner agreed upon than the savage, with his 
characteristic energy, began to carry the plan into exe- 
cution. The moon having risen, Chuheluh proceeded 
to cut off a few more slices of the hog he had butch- 
ered, and stowed them in the knapsack, which Welch 
now declined carrying farther. But the savage, who 
seemed resolved on humoring him in every thing, made 
no difficulty about taking it himself. 

The course of Welch, after parting with Chuheluh, 
had been north, and they now struck off along the 
ridge of the mountain, in a direction nearly eastwardly, 

VOL. I. — 13. 



146 EONEGTJSKI. 

progressing quietly and cautiously, until Chuheluh 
stopped suddenly, and laying his hand upon the arm of 
Welch, pointed out to him the indistinct marks of a 
human trail. He then signed to Welch to stand still, 
whilst he himself followed the trail to a cliff; towards 
which it lead. Having arrived at the cliff, Chuheluh 
looked over, then cast his eye back towards Welch, 
smiling, and beckoning him to approach softly. Welch 
obeyed, and looking over the cliff, about ten feet per- 
pendicular, beheld his persecutor stretched out at its 
base. 

The arms of the warrior were unnerved in sleep, 
and the moon-light, beneath which he lay, was not 
more calm and peaceful than his countenance. The 
glitter of his armor was all that indicated the deceitful- 
ness of the apparent calm, and that the disturbance of 
his repose would be the waking of terror. A bitter 
smile played upon the countenance of Chuheluh — he 
stooped down and grasped with both his hands a massy 
rock, which tasked his whole strength to raise it — he 
bent over the precipice and poised it for an instant — then 
turning suddenly upon Welch, put it into his arms and 
pushed him towards the cliff Welch staggered with 
his heavy burden, and it fell upon the bare rock whereon 
they were standing. The explosion was loud, and was 
answered and re-answered by the echoes of the moun- 
tain. The warrior started from his repose, and obedient 
to instinct, Welch and his conductor fled before him, 
who was immediately on their track. But the stata- 
gems of Chuheluh were again effectual ; they succeeded 
in eluding their pursuer, and to play with him, for many 
succeeding days, a game of hide and seek — crossing 
streams and valleys, and flitting from mountain top to 
mountain top, until they were conducted to the north- 
ward of the Grandfather Mountain, which towers in 
venerable majesty, as though in truth the great pro- 
genitor of the multitudes of inferior mountains, which 
occupy for many miles around him. From his capa- 
cious bosom streams issue forth, to water and fertilize 



EONEGUSKI. 147 

the valleys of four large States, in so many different 
directions, seeking their way to the vast Atlantic. 

Fatigue, exposure, scantiness of food, and distress of 
mind, began, at length, to prove too trying to the consti- 
tution of Welch, manifesting their deleterious influence 
in symptoms of approaching pleurisy. " You are no 
longer able to shift," said the Fox, in a tone of compas- 
sion, which surprised and affected Welch, "and my 
brother must seek for refuge in some home of the 
white man. — The Fox would gladly have conducted 
the young man to the Homony, but that is impossible ; 
yet he has enabled him to dodge his pursuer, who is 
now completely thrown off his trail. He will place 
him within reach of some of his own people of the 
pale face, and Chuheluh will return to Eonee." 

Welch saw the necessity of his situation, and the 
impossibility of reaching, at present, his desired haven. 



148 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

And dost thou not ramember how we cheer'd 
Upon the last hill top, when white men's huts appeared ? 

Campbell. 

Events, to which, in some states of mind, the same 
person would prefer even self-destruction, are, in others, 
nailed as the kindest arrangements of Providence ; and 
every one must have been struck, in his own experience, 
with the preparatory circumstances which have pre- 
ceded every trying incident in his life, qualifying him 
for its toleration. 

Had any circumstance occurred to Welch, imme- 
diately after his departure from Eonee, calculated to 
delay for any great length of time, his arrival at the 
Homony, he would, probably, have preferred the im- 
mediate execution of the vengeance that threatened him, 
to enduring the mental agony with which he would 
have been visited. But now that his patience had been 
gradually subjected to trial, the prospect of undergoing 
an illness, which, if it did not immediately take his life, 
must detain him for a length of time from the scene of 
his melancholy hopes, in lingering debility, and in a 
situation in all probability exceedingly comfortless, was 
looked upon with scarcely a repining thought. On 
the contrary, he dragged on his enfeebled footsteps, in 
eager search for some white man's cabin, where he 
might press the couch of disease, and await the uncer- 
tain issue. 

He had crossed with his Indian guide the head water 
of the Great Kanawha, called at that place New River: 
one of those streams issuing from the Grandfather 
Mountain, and the most limpid among those currents, 
where the unwary traveller, deceived by the apparent 



EONEGUSKI. 149 

proximity of the bottom, through the clear fluid, finds 
himself plunging into a depth of eight or ten feet, when 
prepared only for three or four. They stood upon the 
summit of the Blue Mountain, from whence, with a 
shout, Chuheluh caught a glimpse of the Pilot or Ara- 
rat, the ancient guide of his people in their wanderings. 
There it stood, resembling in its shape and isolated po- 
sition, a fortress erected in ancient times, by some gigan- 
tic race of civilized warriors. Although fully sixty 
miles distant, it appeared just at hand, while the coun- 
try around it, as far as the eye could reach, seemed 
a vast interminable ocean, the inequalities of whose 
surface were its mighty waves, and the little farms here 
and there visible, so many delightful islets, inviting to 
rest from toils and dangers the tempest tost mariner. 
The evening was stretching out the shadows of the 
trees and mountains, as this glorious scene was pre- 
sented to the wanderers, and its beauty was rendered 
more touching by the contrast of the extensive tract 
of deep gloomy shade which intervened, and its own 
sunny boundless expanse. It was the land of bright 
interminable bliss, beyond " the dark valley of the sha- 
dow of death," which it separated from the longing 
beholder. 

Sick and weary, now leaning upon his assiduous 
guide, Welch progressed down the mountain, scarcely 
conscious of this scene of grandeur until night began 
to close upon them, when they heard at some distance 
the sound of a blacksmith's hammer upon the yielding 
iron, and ever and anon, ringing upon the bare anvil. 

" That sound denotes the residence of a white man," 
said Welch faintly. They continued to approach the 
place from whence it proceeded, until they perceived 
the sparks rising thickly from the smithery. 

" Go," said the Fox — "John Welch is safe, and Chu- 
heluh must return to his own people. — Let not my 
brother grieve for the death of the Leech, for he slew 
him only as one Indian brave should always slay another, 
who has killed his brother. Some moons hence, when 
13* 



150 EONEGUSKI. 

the Eonee have forgotten the Leech, John Welch will 
come to Sugar Town, and become their chief, and John 
Welch and Chuheluh will strengthen one another, for 
Chuheluh will be the chief of Eonee, when the aged 
Eonah shall be no more." 

Welch was a little startled by this last intimation, of 
what he had never before heard, but there was no time 
now for expressing his surprise. But shaking the 
Fox by the hand, after the manner of the white 
man, " We part," he said, faintly and mournfully, 
•'never to meet more until we shall both appear in 
the land of shadows. For your untiring assistance in 
rescuing me from the avenger of the Leech, I thank 
you. It is a debt of gratitude, I can never repay. But 
you owed me much. The soul of John Welch would 
have still been pure and spotless, had you not assisted 
to plunge him into guilt, and I shall, for that reason, 
never cease to deplore that I ever knew you." 

Tears came to the relief of Welch, the united effect 
of bodily disease, penitential sorrow, and the convic- 
tion that he was, in truth, beholding, for the last time, 
one at whose hands he had experienced irreparable 
wrong, with much of kindness. " We are brothers," 
said Chuheluh, " it is enough," 

Welch continued to direct his enfeebled footsteps to- 
wards the blacksmith's shop, from whence alternately 
proceeded the roaring of the bellows and the clattering 
of the hammer. As he approached the door, the braw- 
ny hand of a stout Irishman, more than six feet high, 
grasped the end of the lever with which he was plying 
the bellows. A complexion naturally of the fairest, 
was brought through the instrumentality of smoke, coal 
dust, and the scales of iron, into pretty perfect harmony 
with his black eyes and hair, and shaggy beard. We 
need not say he had on a leathern apron, and that the 
sleeves of his shirt, his only upper garment, were roll- 
ed up far above the elbows ; that he was bareheaded — 
and, that cold as it was, his face was suffused with per- 
spiration. The expression of his countenance was that 



EONEGTJSKI. 151 

of vanity, mingled with good humor, and even benevo- 
lence, and none who looked upon it but were struck 
with astonishment when they first heard the harsh dis- 
cordant voice accompanying it, scarcely less loud and 
dissonant than that of the Cyclops Polyphemus, or the 
sound of his own bellows. 

" By the powers," said he, in a voice with which 
he intended to express great kindness, but that caused 
Welch to start back in alarm — " By the powers, my 
man, but ye are not wal." 

" I am very sick indeed," replied Welch, faintly. 
" By my sowl then," said the blacksmith, "and it's a 
lucky man ye are, whom chance has brought to the 
door of Doctor Wuddy himsalf." 

" I beg your pardon," said Welch, " I took you for 
a blacksmith." 

" And isn't it a smith I am, replied the Irishman — 
*' but what segnifies ones fataguing oneself with one 
trade all the days of ones life : besides, the coonthry is 
not sufTaciently sattled for a man to make a living by 
the smithey itsalf, and happy am I who is cliver, and 
wid a dale of ingenuity to find oot anoder gintale way 
of making a livelihood. My lancet is ould, and a lit- 
tle rusty, it is thrue, but I am a torough disciple of Dr. 
Rush, and make gud use of it, and can blade as well as 
any man in the county of Wilkes, and the divil fly 
away wid him that can draw a toot faster nor me. — 
There is a root," said he, pulling one out of his breech- 
es pocket, somewhat resembling a potatoe, and about 
the same size, from which some busy knife had appa- 
rently been engaged in whittling off shavings from 
time to time, "that is good for all the disases with 
which man is afflicted." 

While delivering this harangue the smith was busi- 
ly engaged in setting his shop to rights, previous to 
leaving it — such as extinguishing the fire, &c. — throw- 
ing off his leathern apron, and hanging it upon the end 
of a cold chissel, sticking in one of the logs of which 
the shop was built, and washing some of the more re- 



152 EONEGUSKI. 

cent dye from his hands, face and arms. Then stroking 
down his shirt sleeves and slipping over them a home- 
spun jacket and coat, " I think," said he, " it'll be time 
to quet for the night,"' as he took an old hat from a rest- 
ing place, similar to that on which he had deposited his 
apron, and from which he had taken his coat and waist- 
coat. Slightly fastening the crazy door after him as 
he left the shop, "Come, my man," he continued, "we 
will sa what can be done for ye." 

Paths lead through the woods, in many directions, 
to this Lemnian tabernacle, destined, some years after- 
wards, to be dignified with a place in the statute book 
of North Carolina. Indeed, something like a road was 
then to be seen, in or near the same place where a fine- 
ly graduated turnpike has since been laid out, forming 
one of the many channels of those streams of emigra- 
tion which are continually pouring from the eastern 
parts of that State into the boundless West. Into one 
of these paths the medical blacksmith struck, with long 
and rapid strides, little suited to the weakly condition of 
Welch ; but he did his best to keep up, in a sort of a 
trot, until they discovered the smoke rolling up towards 
them from a low rude stone chimney, built without lime, 
and, except the stem or narrow part of it, without mortar 
of any kind. This chimney was attached to a small 
log cabin, situated in a narrow ravine or glen, through 
which gushed down from the mountain, in a course more 
direct than usual, a clear rapid stream. There was no 
appearance of cultivation around the cabin, the native 
empire of the forest being nearly unbroken, except an 
acre or two of level ground on the margin of the stream, 
which being enclosed with a fence of brush, was, as the 
doctor told Welch, his patch for roasting-ears and pota- 
toes. Both of these crops he had frequently lost by the 
overflowing of the stream in violent gusts, to which 
that part of the country is subject, " Faith," said the 
doctor, " the potata grows here tolerably anny how; but 
it's a good root, and I sometimes thenk of moving high- 
er up the mountain, or into the county of Ashe, where 



EONEGUSKI. 153 

they grow as wal, if not bater, than in swate Ireland 
itsalf." 

Three or four little urchins, as black and as dirty as 
if they had been wallowed in their father's coal heap, 
were now peeping round nearly as many corners of 
the cottage, to whom the doctor paid no attention. — 
"Judy," said he, as he passed the main entrance of the 
building, " pit on a pot of wather, and sind it into the 
doctor's shop." 

He passed on, followed by Welch, into a kind of 
shed apartment, of small dimensions, the loose broken 
floor of which was strewed with herbs and roots of 
various kinds, and a few coarse temporary shelves 
ornamented one of its sides, crowded with vials, some 
whole and some broken, some empty, and others 
in all the intermediate stages between that and full- 
ness. Besides these, there were bladders of various 
sizes, and some other things, of whose utility the inex- 
perienced Welch was utterly ignorant, and need not be 
more particularly called to the attention of the refined 
reader. In one corner was an apology for a bed, which 
seemed dirty enough to be offensive to the nostrils, but 
Welch's sense of smelling was already overpowered 
by the varied effluvia of the doctor's shop, and was 
happily unconscious of any qualities of that kind with 
which his destined sick-bed might be gifted. 

" Lie down hare," said the doctor, assisting Welch, 
to disencumber himself as far as was necessary, " and 
I'll take a drap of blood from ye in a jiffy — sind me a 
candle, Judy," he bellowed. But there was no great 
haste to render obedience to his call. After waiting for 
some time, with astonishing meekness, the doctor rose, 
and went himself in pursuit of what he wanted. In 
the mean time, Welch, no longer excited by exercise, 
found himself growing chilly, which sensation increased 
rapidly, until his frail couch shook under him, and its 
very joints creaked. The doctor returned with a 
small dipped candle, the lower end of which was 
wrapped about with rags, and thrust into the neck of a 



154 EONEGTTSKI. 

bottle, by way of candlestick. He looked at his pa- 
tient, " By the howkies," said he, " it'll not do to blade 
him now — sind me the het wather, Judy, my woman." 

A little half dressed slut at length came in, lugging 
an iron pot, nearly as large as herself, full of boiling 
water. — " Lat it down, Marry, honey," said he, " and 
bring me the tapot." 

The little girl tripped away, and returned very quickly 
with a piece of blue ware, which had once been a tea- 
pot, but was now deprived of many of the constituents 
of that highly useful vessel. It had no top, nor was 
much left of its spout, neither was the handle entire, 
but such as it was, the doctor seized it, and crammed 
into it a large quantity of some herb, to which he 
added a few shavings from the root he carried in his 
breeches pocket, and, dipping the teapot into the iron 
one, filled it up with hot water, then taking one of the 
bladders from the shelf, he laid it where the top should 
have been, and pressed it down with his hand. After 
holding it in this position for ten or fifteen minutes, he 
poured a part of the liquid contents of the teapot into a 
filthy looking unwashed green gallipot. " This," said 
he, addressing Welch, "is the stuff;" at the same time 
stretching out his hand with the gallipot. 

Welch was too sorely pressed with disease, to refuse, 
or question any proffer of assistance, and accordingly 
seized the gallipot, and eagerly swallowed its contents, 
although his throat was scalded in the process. Draught 
after draught was thus administered to him, in pretty 
quick succession. " It'll mak you swat," said the doc- 
tor, " like a bul." But the doctor's expectations were 
not realized ; — the chill passed off, it was true, and per- 
haps sooner in consequence of the hot potions adminis- 
tered, than it would otherwise have done ; but it was 
succeeded by a raging fever, and a skin as dry as the 
dust of summer. 

" Now," said the doctor, " for the lancet ;" and he 
accordingly fell to work, with all the delicate caution 
of a butcher, to phlebotomize his patient. The skin 



EONEGUSKI. 155 

could be distinctly heard to pop asunder, as the blunt 
instrument separated it, by dint of violent pressure, and 
Welch roared with a pain even more acute than that 
with which his left side was suffering, in the high 
inflammation of pleurisy. A few drops of blood, as 
black as the hand of the surgeon, followed the with- 
drawal of the lancet, but the large gaping orifice imme- 
diately afterwards exhibited its red dry lips, from which 
nothing exuded. 

" Bum the lancet," said the surgeon, " let us try 
again." 

" Wait a little," said Welch. 

" There is no time to be loast," replied the relentless 
physician, and in a moment more another gash, almost 
as wide, if not as deep, as if it had been made with the 
tomahawk of Eoneguski, was in the arm of Welch. 
But had the Prophet smitten the rock at Horeb with 
as little success, the tribes of Israel must have perished 
with thirst ; a few more drops of deeply colored fluid 
followed, and then ceased as before. 

" By the howky," said the Irishman, "it shall blade," 
passing the lancet a few times over a rough whetstone, 
and then along the toe of his own shoe — " It is sharp 
enough now," he added — " Come, stratch oot yere 
arram, man, and hould this stick as if it were in a vice." 
Poor Welch submitted to his fate, and with a despe- 
rate plunge, the doctor buried all that part of the lancet 
which had been originally burnished, in the flesh of 
his patient. The blood now spouted up in a large 
dark stream, sprinkling doctor, bed, and patient, with a 
crimson shower. 

" It's a petty for the bed," said the doctor, it's a nice 
clane bed, and no one has slapt in it, since my last 
patient, who desased about a mont' ago, wid de same 
desase wid yourself, God help ye, and is byrred up 
by. Ye will sa his grave if ye live to recover from 
your seekness. I had half a mind to make an 'atomy 
of him, but I had not the convaniences, so I gev it 
up." 



156 EONEGUSKI. 

This was delightful intelligence for Welch ; but he 
had the consolation of being perplexed with no choice 
of alternatives. There was but one road before him, 
and along that he had only to press forward to what 
ever issue it might conduct. " Ye' 11 do for the night, I 
thank," said the doctor, after having staunched the 
blood, and Welch really felt that he was benefited by 
the butchery to which he had been subjected. 

For some days, however, he remained quite ill, and 
sometimes apprehended that Doctor Wooddie would 
soon have another chance for an 'atomy. But in pro- 
cess of time he recovered, whether in despite of, or by 
the assistance of the blacksmith's remedies, it is difficult 
to say; and had the honor of an introduction to the lady 
of the mansion, who disappointed, in no degree, the 
expectations he had formed. She had never deigned 
during his confinement to look in upon him, or offer him 
any of those attentions so natural to her sex, whose hearts 
are ever wont to move at the cry of distress. But when 
Welch came to find, that the unfavorable conjectures, 
which some of the dialogues overheard by him, between 
her and the accomplished blacksmith, had enabled him 
to form, were but small portions of the reality, he did 
not regret the loss of her society. 

Unfavorable as his conclusions were, he could not 
but perceive, that what he now saw, was not what once 
had been — and that the uncomely ruin he beheld, might 
once have been an edifice of beauty — that the withered 
leaves upon which he looked, might formerly have been 
the petals of a very fair flower — that the odor of sharp 
vinegar was now exhaling from a cask where the most 
delicious wine might have once sent forth its enticing 
flavor. Mrs. Wooddie was tall and spare, her long 
gray hair escaping in disordered but straight locks, 
from beneath her dirty cap, as if disgusted with the 
foul prison in which it was evidently her intention to 
confine them. The most striking features in her lean 
sallow face, were a sharp aquiline nose, and a pair of 
piercing black eyes, which so accompanied, gave to 



EONEGUSKI. 157 

her an expression of fierceness and hecatine malignity. 
Her arms were long and skinny, and the veins rose 
beneath their covering, on the backs of her hands, 
like so many huge earth worms, greatly adding to her 
disgusting and hag-like appearance. 

It was plain that the doctor and his spouse enter- 
tained for each other no enviable degree of connubial 
affection. A close observer, however, would have seen 
that it was an indifference not co-extensive with their 
acquaintance with each other, for that would have been 
comparatively a happy state — one of quiet insensibility, 
like that of a still-born fetus, which had never felt 
the capacities for pain and pleasure of that nature, of 
which it had partially partaken. But theirs were the 
expiring struggles of an affection which had once been 
lively, and whose strength had resisted attacks severe 
and frequent — notwithstanding which it had continued 
to exist — and, after enduring agonies cruel and pro- 
tracted, was reduced to that distressing condition in 
which intervals of insensibility and suffering alternate 
with each other — like the perfect human subject, who, 
endowed by nature with a constitution unusually vigor- 
ous, is, by casualty, brought through frequent attacks of 
sickness, to the bed of death, where tenacity of life 
maintains a long, painful, and doubtful, but finally un- 
successful contest with its destroyer. 

Welch was not long in finding out that the doctor 
added to his other accomplishments that of being, in 
his own conceit, a profound politician. A ponderous 
file of the National Intelligencer, which had been ac- 
cumulating for years, swung backwards and forwards 
against the wall of the log cabin, as it was moved by 
the wind. 

" Dere's few houses en de coonthry," said the doctor, 
"with a look of importance, as he observed Welch's eye 
passing in that direction, " whare you wud sa sich a 
theng as dat — I have been a shubscriber to dat paper 
for tin years, and not wan of dem es messing. I 
wud as shune parrt wid wan of my childer. I was 

vol. i. — 14. 



158 EONEGUSKI. 

wan of de boys dat farst cried Jifferson and Leeberty, 
and, by de howky, I'll steck by dem tull de last. I 
have jist been rading about dat affair of de Lippard 
and de Chisapake. Och ! but I rackon it'll mak some 
fun yet. We'll tache King George dat hes sheps are 
not de only wans which haave a right to sail upon de 
wide ocean, which was made for all de nations upon 
de 'arth. By de powers ! but I should like to be a 
sargeon, or a sargeon's mate, on boord an Amarican 
shep-of-war. Don't ye thenk I wuld be a nate hand 
for cutting aff a lag ?" 

" My habits of life have illy qualified me to judge of 
these matters," said Welch, modestly, and the conversa- 
tion dropped. 



EONEGUSKI. 159 



CHAPTER XVII. 

'Tis as our healthful food were turn'd to bane, 

And flowers should fill the air with loathsome scents — 

The soft south wind lose its refreshing sweetness, 

And the bright sun benumb the shiv'ring frame, 

For woman, formed to soothe and cheer mankind, 

To plague his heart and drive all quiet from him. 

Old Play. 

There is a wearisome interval to the convalescent, 
between the cessation of the violent tortures of disease, 
which destroy all relish for life, or that insensibility to 
outward objects produced by great debility, and his 
return to all the privileges and enjoyments of health. 
Long before his time he fancies himself able to per- 
form all the functions of health, and is stimulated by 
the desires incident to it. He is constantly subjected to 
those restraints of prudence, which he can scarcely 
persuade himself are necessary, or doomed to disap- 
pointment and inconvenience, from rashly breaking 
through them. The fields and the woods put on their 
most inviting appearance, and yet he dare not venture 
upon out-door exercise. Some matter of business is 
peculiarly necessary and pressing, but he is unable to 
travel to the scene, or engage in it if he were there. 
Some favorite author occurs to him, and solicits his 
attention to its instructive or amusing pages, but his 
weak eyes and dizzy brain forbid his looking into them. 
Some choice amusement strikes his fancy with unusual 
charms, but the voice of his friends, and his own con- 
scious feebleness unite in restraining him from its parti- 
cipation. Some delicious dish salutes his nostrils with 
its fragrant steam, and solicits his palate to an exquisite 
gratification, but his physician tells him that relapse, if 
not death, lurks within it, and he must of necessity 



160 EONEGUSKI. 

refrain. Day succeeds day, and still he is not sick, 
and yet cannot act as those who are well. He looks 
with envy upon their freedom, and repines at his own 
state as the worst of slavery. His situation becomes 
more and more intolerable, until, finally, he assumes 
the pleasures and occupations of health, not because the 
time has arrived at which he ought to have done so, 
but because he determines that he will. 

Somewhat such was the condition of Welch, who had 
recovered from actual disease, and was fast regaining his 
strength, when he was one day seated in conversation 
with the doctor in the presence his comely spouse ; — 
we say presence, for, however free in the use of her 
tongue, when she supposed Welch out of hearing, this 
lady was commonly very taciturn, and even sulky 
when he was by, and rarely intermingled in the dis- 
course between him and the doctor. It was a little 
before noon, when, what was evidently an imitation of 
the whistle of a partridge, was heard at no great distance 
from the house. Welch was too well acquainted with 
the note of that bird to be deceived, although the imita- 
tion was quite a successful one. Instantaneously he 
saw the eye of Mrs. Wooddie flash forth its fire, and 
there was a subdued but sly expression in that of Jona- 
than, (for that was his name of baptism, if indeed he 
ever was baptized,) under the glance of his wife. 

" It is time for me to veesit a patient up by, on de 
mountain," said he, as he arose with ill affected indif- 
ference, "Mr. Walch ye mun excuse me. Bussness, 
ye know, must not ba naglacted. Judy, I shall be 
back in time for denner." 

Judy deigned him no reply, and Jonathan departed. 
As soon as he was gone Judy's manner became more 
and more excited, and there was evidently a violent 
struggle for some time going on in her mind, between 
a desire to speak, and an effort at suppression. The 
former at length prevailed: — "Mr. Welch," said she, 
sobbing, " I am the most abused woman under the sun." 

A pretty woman's tears are always interesting — an 



EONEGUSKI. 161 

amiable woman in distress never appeals in vain to the 
heart of man ; but tears are desecrated when found on 
homely or withered cheeks, and the distresses of one in 
whose disposition we perceive any thing diabolical, 
excite no pity. Such were the thoughts of Welch, 
at this most unexpected burst of pathos and confidence 
from one whom he had hitherto seen in the stern 
coldness of marble, scarcely ever speaking except when 
addressed. He knew not what to say, and was, of 
course, silent. 

" Pardon me, Mr. Welch," she continued, " but my 
feelings can no longer be confined to my own bosom. 
God only knows how I have loved that ungrateful 
man. For him I left my father's house, and have toiled 
like a slave to assist him in raising our family. I 
believed our love mutual, until he took up the trade 
of doctor, and ever since then there has been a great 
change betwixt us." 

Welch now felt his situation little less perplexing 
than when he had imprudently obtruded himself into 
the family affairs of Santuchee, but then it had been 
his own act, and now he was about to be unwillingly 
involved in that proverbially most delicate of all matters, 
the domestic squabbles of husband and wife. Things 
had, however, reached a crisis, at which he felt con- 
strained to say something, although he scarcely knew 
what. " How, madam," he at length broke silence, 
" can your husband's change of employment have af- 
fected your happiness." 

" Why, Mr. Welch," she replied, " I am almost 
ashamed to tell you ; but it is nevertheless the truth, 
that ever since he has been a doctor, whistles, such as 
those you have just now heard, and other strange noises, 
are made near our house, both by night and by day, 
and as soon as Mr. Wooddie hears them, he starts up 
and leaves the house. Sometimes in the doctor's shop, 
as he calls it, I hear him whispering with people, and 
I am not allowed to enter ; and 1 am sure from all this, 
Mr. Welch, that I am a deeply injured -woman, and 
14 # 



162 EONEGUSKI. 

am determined to put up with it no longer, if there is 
law in the land. I was a fool for marrying an Irish- 
man, as I had always heard, when I was a girl, that 
they were not to be trusted. He tells me that it is only 
patients who consult him, about things which they 
would not wish to make public, and do not even like 
to have it known they have consulted a doctor; and 
that the success of his business depends upon his keeping 
his patients' secrets. But lam too old a bird to be 
caught with such chaff, and in spite of his impudent 
turns, we have squabbled and quarrelled over the mat- 
ter until I really believe we have come to hate one 
another. He now scarcely takes the trouble to deny 
any thing I charge him with ; but as sure as Heaven I 
will have justice." 

In a strain like this, did the old woman go on, inter- 
rupted only now and then by advice given by Welch, 
in no urgent way, that she would be calm, and not 
act precipitately in the matter. To him the whole 
affair wore a kind of tragico-comico appearance, which 
rendered his situation exceedingly perplexing, and he 
hardly knew whether to consider his landlady a sort of 
female Othello, (although from the want of a know- 
ledge of that gentleman, the idea was not so expressed 
in his mind, yet was it substantially the same,) a lunatic, 
or, in truth, a pitiable victim of conjugal maltreatment. 
He was, at length, fortunately relieved, by the early 
arrival of the doctor, in whom, notwithstanding a look 
of uneasiness he now and then cast towards his bet- 
ter half, as much as to say, " behave yourself before 
folk," Welch sought, in vain, for any expression of 
conscious guilt. Judy, for some reason, best known to 
herself, did not think proper to disregard the glances of 
her husband, which she probably understood, and no 
allusion was made, either to her conversation with 
Welch, or the signal that had caused it. 

A storm had set in just after Welch's arrival at the 
blacksmith's residence, and continued to render the 
weather exceedingly unpleasant for many successive 



EONECUSKI. 163 

days. But now the moderated season, as well as his 
own improved health, invited him to prosecute his return 
towards those scenes dear to his remembrance on the 
distant Homony. Yet an embarrassing difficulty pre- 
sented itself to his mind : he knew too well the habits 
of the common people of the country, to suppose that 
any thing would be expected from him for his board 
and lodging at the house of the blacksmith ; but the 
professional claims of the doctor were another matter. 
Although he might have a few very small coins left 
of the inconsiderable stock with which he set out upon 
his pilgrimage, he was convinced that it Avould be a 
greater insult to the professional dignity of Wooddie to 
make such a paltry offering, than frankly to acknow- 
ledge his poverty, and promise something more equal 
to his meritorious services, should fortune become propi- 
tious. 

But it is a severe trial to a proud heart to put in the 
plea of poverty under any circumstances, and Welch 
felt that it was little inferior to the hardest trial he had 
yet encountered; but like all his preceding trials, it met 
him without leaving any mode of escape ; he might 
procrastinate, but the difficulty must come at last, and 
the longer postponed the greater in the end. He there- 
fore, one morning, more inviting than usual, plucked 
up courage to address Wooddie on the subject. "I am 
exceedingly obliged to you, Doctor Wooddie," he said, 
"for the many kindnesses you have rendered me, and 
regret much that it is not in my power — " 

" I know it man," said the benevolent blacksmith, 
interrupting him, " I did not expact it — I knew ye had 
no money when I first laid eyes on ye — I tould Judy so. 
She wunted me to tarn ye adreft, saying dat I cud not 
affoord it, and dat she waud haave notheng to do wath 
sich a pace of extravagance as pheesicing and fading 
a lazy idle vagabone, while our own childer were half 
naked and starrving. But I tould her, by the howky, 
dat starrve or no starrve, it shud niver be sid dat Doch- 
tor Jonathan Wuddy had tarned away a seek bodee fram 



164 EONEGUSKI. 

hes doore, and dat by Jasus we were levin g in a Chres- 
tian counthry, and I wud shuner coot de troat of ivery 
mudder's son of my own childer, aye, and har's into de 
barrgin, dan sind ye away tull ye were wanst more 
hale and hearty." 

" I am ten thousand times obliged to you/' said Welch, 
" but fear I shall never see the day when I shall be able 
to give you any worthy proof of my gratitude." 

" Not a nudder ward abouth et," said the Irishman, 
" a gintleman is alwaise fully paid by de dade itself, 
whin he diz a ginerous action." 

" You will pardon me," said Welch, " if I allude to 
a delicate subject; but great allowances must be made 
for a gratitude such as mine." 

" Ha dune wid your gratitude and dilicacy, I say," 
replied the doctor; " divil a bit of dilicacy shud dere 
iver ba betune a dochtor and his patient." 

" But it is not about myself I am going to speak, it 
is about Mrs. Wooddie." 

" Och ! blood and 'ounds, and what can ye have to 
do wid Mrs. Wuddy?" cried the doctor, laughing, "dat 
is a dilicate bissness indade." 

"The subject I allude to, doctor," said Welch, "is 
urgent, and I must again apologize for mentioning it, 
but my regard for you, sir, is my only inducement." 

" Why what de divil can be de maning of all this?" 
said the doctor, at this time manifesting without any 
affectation, both surprise and concern — "Mrs. Wuddy — 
and dilicacy — and regard for me. Take care, my man, 
Mrs. Wuddy is nather yong nor beautiful, but if ye 
dare to insinnivate anny theng to the prajudice of har 
charracter, by de howlies I'll lay ye biside de fallow 
onder de tray yonder, widout de halp of a pleurishy." 

"Good Heavens! doctor," said Welch, somewhat 
alarmed at the difficulty in which he was involving 
himself, " I know nothing, and can say nothing, to the 
prejudice of Mrs. Woody's character, but you must 
excuse me for saying that I am afraid yours will not 
so well bear investigation." 



EONEGUSKI. 165 

"Och! by de powers, and is that all," cried the doc- 
tor, and the woods rang again with his obstreperous 
laughter ; " if it's my charracter ye are for invistiga- 
ting, fire away Flannagan — but stop, by de howlies, 
Dochtor Wuddy is a gintleman. Pray sir, what haave 
ye to say agin de charracter of Dochtor Wuddy?" 
setting his arms a kimbo, and placing himself before 
Welch, in an attitude of mock defiance. 

" I have already told you, doctor," said Welch, with 
gravity, after getting rid of the smile, which the doctor's 
manner had irresistibly provoked, " that this is no joke. 
Your own happiness and that of your family are surely 
not matters to be trifled with." 

" And pray, sar," said the doctor, again becoming 
serious, " what right have ye to know anny theng of 
de hapiness of mysilf or famely?" 

" I must proceed doctor," replied Welch, " coolly, 
even at the risk of your displeasure, as the only way 
in which I can make some slight return for your kind- 
ness. It has not escaped my notice that the happiness 
of Mrs. Wooddie is destroyed by jealousy, and my own 
observation has furnished some very slight evidence of 
the justness of her apprehensions." 

" Thin gev me lave to till you," said the doctor, 
promptly, " dat dose whech came oonder yere notice 
has desaved ye, as dey haave dune Mrs. Wuddy ; and 
sence ye have mintioned de subject, Mr. Walch, I will 
be fray to confass dat dat theng has plagued me sadly. 
It is thrue, dat we're leving like cat and dug, but what 
am I to du, de wumman wul not hare rason. I must 
leve by my profassion, and mun doctor famales, no less 
than males, and de wan has quite as manny sacrets as 
de ither ; and bekase I am not always revaling to Mrs. 
Wuddy de meesteries of my shope, why notheing will 
du but de wumman mun be jallous. For a long time 
I striv to convence her, but finding at last dat sha wud 
not hare rason, I gev it up, and jist lit har haave har 
own tirrivies about it." 



166 EONEGUSKI. 

" And do you say, then, doctor, that these signals 
which are heard from time to time," inquired Welch, 
" are entirely professional, mid have nothing to do with 
the subject of Mrs. Wooddie's apprehensions?" 

" Upon de 'onor of a gintleman it is so," replied 
the doctor. 

With this assurance, and the permission of the par- 
ties, Welch succeeded before leaving the house of the 
kind and hospitable blacksmith, in settling the domestic 
disquiet which had so long prevailed, and Wooddie 
admitted that, if the present state of things could only 
last for a single fortnight, it would be more than 
a compensation for all the services he had rendered 
Welch, for it was in fact a deliverance from domestic 
purgatory. 

Having thus, after the highest example, left peace in 
the place of his sojourn, although it existed not in his 
own bosom, Welch once more sallied out, alone and 
defenceless, to encounter the adventures of a long and 
difficult journey. None, however, very material befel 
him, until just as he was approaching, with throbbing 
heart and excited feelings, the place of his destination, 
when he encountered, like an apparition, the person 
of his persecutor, whose exhausted patience he had 
counted on having long since conducted him back to 
Eonee. But finding the relentlessness of his pursuit, 
and having made a most unhoped for and miraculous 
escape from the uplifted rifle of Eoneguski, he was 
convinced that here there could be no rest for the sole 
of his foot, but that in continued flight he must find his 
only hope of safety. 

Chance, or something else, however, conducted him 
near to the spring of Robert Aymor in his alarmed 
retreat, and the sweet tones of a well known voice, as 
it poured forth the notes of a plaintive song, compelled 
him, like that of the ancient Syren's, to linger near a 
scene of danger. 

Imperceptibly to himself, he drew nearer and nearer. 



EONEGUSKI. 167 

until he was in the actual presence of the being he 
most loved on earth, but to pass from her again like a 
fleeting vision of the fancy. He left her, to perform in 
his own person, the destiny of the first shedder of 
human blood, wandering hither and thither in the con- 
tinual apprehension that whomsoever he met would 
slay him, and forever denied repose by the continual 
lashings of conscience. 



168 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Farewell ! a word that hath been, and must be 
A sound that makes one linger — yet — farewell. 

Byron. 

His departure from home upon a distant excursion, 
is, to every youth, an era indelibly marked in the 
calendar of memory. Feelings are then stirred into 
action, which, for the first time, disclose their hitherto 
unknown existence. These may vary, according to the 
circumstances or object of the journey; but whatever 
they may be, in kind there is an intensity in their 
degree which is never afterwards known, how frequent 
soever they may appear. It is then he first disco- 
vers what hold each simple object about the paternal 
domain has acquired upon his heart, and the pain he 
must suffer in tearing it away. If his departure be in- 
voluntary, the operation will be more severe, but 
even when otherwise, it is by no means trivial. The 
wounds thus inflicted will be felt more keenly, and heal 
more slowly, in some dispositions than in others, but in 
all a scar is left for the notice of memory. 

We now return to Gideon Aymor, whom we left 
some chapters back, preparing for a journey with Eo- 
neguski, to the Indian country, and even his bold and 
gay disposition was not exempt from feelings that almost 
caused him to repent of his engagement. But pride, as 
is often the case, united with other principles of action, 
to spur him on to performance. 

In conformity with the arrangement of the preceding 
evening, being furnished with a timely meal, through 
the tender solicitude of Atha, and his second sister, a 
year or two younger, he took an affecting leave of his 
family, to set out for the appointed place of meeting with 



EONEGUSKI. 169 

Eoneguski. His were the feelings of a spirited youth, 
of his habits of life, entering on his first adventure, 
and some of them manifested themselves in a certain 
tightness of the throat, which impeded articulation and 
deglutition, and a disagreeable titillation of the nostrils, 
as he thought of parting with those objects of affection, 
amongst whom nearly every hour of his existence had 
hitherto been spent. Demonstrations of sorrow were 
much more unequivocal on the other side — the younger 
children entreated "brother Gideon," in those moving 
accents, of which infancy only is capable, " not to 
leave them ;" and the elder ones, including Atha, wept 
profusely, and begged him, " if he would go, to take 
care of himself, and return soon." 

Dolly wiped her eyes, and blew her nose, loud and 
oft, and said, among other things, interrupted by sobs — 
*• I was always willing, Giddy, for you to see the world, 
but drot my skin if I think there's much to be learnt 
amongst the Injuns. Now if you were going to Rolley 
I should be right glad, for there you might learn some- 
thing, but if I was Bob Aymor you should'nt budge 
one step with this Injun, as clever as he is. But he's 
always for his gratitude, and sich notions — I wonder 
what good his gratitude ever done him ? But it's use- 
less for me to talk to him — he's as obstinate as a pig, 
and if you try to drive him one way, he's sartain to go 
another. But Giddy, my son, your poor mother will 
be longing to see you, so do pray come back soon, and 
I'll have a nice suit made for you out of the cloth that 
Patty Stevens wove for me.; — and poor creature you 
hav'nt even took leave of her — she'll be most dead to 
see you before you come back." 

Having exchanged the parting embrace with all the 
other members of the family, Gideon turned to his father, 
who had maintained a calm dignified silence, while his 
son was receiving the clamorous expressions of regret 
at his departure. But Robert Aymor's was a heart full 
of the kindest affections, and there was now in the quiet 

VOL. I. 15. 



170 EONEGUSKI. 

of his countenance a shade of melancholy, which in- 
dicated that he was no indifferent spectator of the scene. 

Language is inadequate to express the feelings that 
agitate the heart of a benevolent father, when his son 
passes, for the first time, beyond the reach of the paternal 
eye, and where the paternal arm can no longer be 
stretched forth for his assistance. 

"I will walk a little with you, Gideon," said Aymor, 
as he lead the way to the door. Gideon followed. — 
u You saw, my son," said the old man, as they walked 
along, with more feeling in his voice than Gideon had 
supposed the occasion warranted — "that I gave you 
rather an unwilling permission to accept the invitation 
of yon worthy savage; but you are now at an age 
when I feel it is proper you should begin to think and 
act for yourself: besides, you know that I am bound 
hand and foot to the protector of my life, and could 
refuse him nothing that had the shew of reason to 
support his claim. You might, by withholding your 
own consent, have relieved me from the difficulty. 
But that is past, and it is now too late for us to retract. 
I do not mean to blame your choice. No, I remember 
too well what, at your age, would have been my own 
under like circumstances, and feel that it is natural. 
But it is yet in your power to gratify me, by making 
your stay in the Indian country as short as possible. I 
have been told, and partly believe it, that the savage 
life is so natural to man, that even the most civilized 
readily fall into, and learn to prefer it. Now, I have 
flattered myself with a better destiny for my children, 
and though we Jive in the wilds, have endeavored to 
improve their minds, and fit them, as far as I was able, 
to fill any station to which Providt nee may call them ; 
therefore, my son, stay not among these savagfs any 
longer than may be necessary slightly to gratify curi- 
osity, and enable you to depart without offending the 
quick jealousy of those to whom we are so deeply in- 
debted. The time is not far distant when the savages 



EONEGUSKI. 171 

must yield the possession of the country into which you 
are going, to the white people ; it may not be amiss, 
then, in your travels through it, to cast your eyes about 
you, and fix them upon those spots on which settlements 
can most advantageously be made, should it suit your 
own convenience, or that of your friends, at some future 
day, to establish there a possession. 

" I believe, Gideon," continued the old man, after a 
pause, "that there is no place where, what we are told 
is the root of all evil, may not be found useful to a man, 
and the want of a little of it may sometimes convert a 
slight difficulty into a very serious one. Here are ten 
silver dollars, which I would not advise you to spend 
without necessity — keep them for a rainy day, and do 
not let them burn holes in your pockets; and remember, 
my son, wherever you go, that you came of honest pa- 
rents, and in whatever situation you may find yourself 
that you are a free-born American, and a North Caro- 
linian. Endeavor to avoid fights and quarrels, but if 
any one rushes on you, never, if you are the son of 
Robert Aymor, shew the white feather. Firmness 
and bravery are necessary to get through the world, 
and if a man exhibits them in his first contest, there are 
ten chances to one that he never has another. But if 
once he plays the craven, he will either be kicked about 
all the rest of his days, or must fight many hard battles 
to convince the bullies, of which the world is full, that 
the first mistake was an accident. But firmness and 
bravery, as I said, are needful to get along with the 
Indians above all people ; they are like hounds — if you 
run from them they are certain to follow and tear you 
to pieces, whereas, if you stand still, and put on a bold 
face, each one is afraid to be the first to lay hold of you. 
Once more, my boy, come back to us as soon as you 
can — take care of yourself — and, in all situations, be- 
have like a true-hearted American." He wrung the 
hand of his son with a hearty grasp — closed his lips 
firmly together, and strode off in the direction of his 
own house. 



172 EONEGUSKI. 

Gideon did not venture a reply, nor, indeed, did one 
seem expected. He drew the back of his hand across 
his eyes, to remove the moisture gathering there, and, 
as soon as his father's back was turned, commenced 
charming away his grief by the music of his dollars, 
as he dropped them from one hand into the other. It 
was the first time he. had ever been master of any such 
sum, and felt himself inexhaustibly rich. The moun- 
tains of his native State had not then began to yield their 
treasures to the miner, and few and scattered were the 
pieces of the precious metals which found their way 
into the purses of the mountaineers. 

Having at length deposited his wealth in his pocket, 
and readjusted his knapsack and rifle, Gideon was bend- 
ing himself to a brisker gait, and breasting, with active 
step, the side of the Homony Mountain, as the cheerful 
rays of the sun, ushering in a clear spring morning, 
gilded the peaks towering loftily above him. He was a 
little behind his appointed time, and was endeavoring 
to regain that which is proverbially irrecoverable, 
when a shout, clear and shrill, multiplied by echo, be- 
yond computation, told him his companion had become 
impatient, and was chiding his delay. He answered 
the call, though not so loudly as it had been made, and 
a reply, in a tone still lower, assured him he had been 
heard. A few moments more brought him where the 
hospitable savage had, as on the preceding day, prepared 
for him a repast; but Gideon declined partaking of it,, 
making him with difficulty understand how impossible 
it would have been, according to the customs of the 
white people, for him to have left his father's house 
upon a distant journey, without joining the family in 
the morning meal. 

The travellers were soon on their way, and Gideon 
could not but remark an expression of lively satis- 
faction in the countenance of Eoneguski, as he turn- 
ed his face westwardly. They had not walked more 
than a mile or two, when they came into the road lead- 
ing from Morristown, since called Asheville, the county 



EONEGUSKI. 173 

seat of Buncombe, to Waynesville, before mentioned, as 
the county seat of Haywood. Gideon was not ignorant 
of this portion of their road, for curiosity had already 
carried him with his father two or three times to 
Waynesville, to witness that caricature of one of the 
most dignified of human institutions, a County Court, 
in a frontier settlement. There was every probability 
they would witness another of these edifying spectacle?, 
as the approaching week was the regular term of its 
session at Waynesville. Having once fallen into the 
Morristown road, they could no more have lost it until 
it conducted them to Waynesville, had they even been 
entire strangers. But to Eoneguski it was a familiar 
way, and Gideon remembered each of the numerous 
fords of the Homony, as he successively came to them 
in following the highway, which was conveniently 
made to pass along the inclined plain through which the 
stream had cut its serpentine course : or, rather, which it 
had formed, by depositing first on one side and then on 
the other, the freight of earth, timber, mud, and gravel, 
with which it was charged in floods of rain, when it 
poured down furiously from its parent mountain. This 
unerring guide conducted the travellers to the top of 
the ridge, which then sloped off gently into the valley 
of the Pigeon River, about one mile distant. Gideon 
did not fail to perceive the immense elevation of the bed 
of this stream over the French Broad, into which the 
Homony disembogued itself within two or three miles 
of his father's residence. The inference was irresistible 
from the fact, that in the previous part of their journey, 
a distance of twelve or fifteen miles, they had been con- 
tinually ascending a pretty steep acclivity, of course 
varying greatly and frequently in its angle with the 
horizon, while their descent, which had not much ex- 
ceeded a mile, was comparatively easy. He therefore 
concluded that it was only an indentation in the crown 
of the mountain, (and not a valley between two moun- 
tains,) worn there in time by torrents of heavy rain, 
swelling, occasionally, the generally moderate stream 
15* 



174 EONEGUSKI. 

of the Pigeon, and forming its bed. Had this opinion 
needed confirmation, circumstances were not wanting. 
When they reached the western side of the river, Gi- 
deon observed that the trees were covered, both on the 
body and limbs, with a short green moss, and, notwith- 
standing the great depth, and apparent fertility of the 
soil in which they were rooted, they bore a dwarfish, 
unhealthy appearance, the natural effects of an elevated 
alpine atmosphere. Neither was there here the small- 
est indication of the presence of Spring, although she 
had made considerable advances at many places behind 
them. 

They had not progressed far on the western side of 
Pigeon River, when Eoneguski cast his eye towards 
the sky, and said, " There is a sound of rain — I feel the 
breath of the coming storm." 

Gideon, it is true, perceived that the tops of the trees 
on the higher spurs of the mountains were considerably 
agitated, and occasionally a sound could be heard, which 
can be best explained by comparing it to the distant surf 
of the ocean ; but the sun set in beauty, and there was 
scarcely a cloud to be seen. 

" It will not be a night for the open air," Eoneguski 
again broke silence — " you must ask lodging from some 
of your white brethren : and they will not deny it to the 
red man also." 

Another short distance brought them to the residence 
of a new settler, who appeared to be comfortable. His 
door was open to the travellers, without distinction of 
complexion. They were admitted to the hospitalities of 
his table, and, whatever might be said of other portions 
of his fare, Irish potatoes of a better quality, or prepa- 
red in a more savory manner, could not have graced 
the board of an epicure. Nothing remarkable befel our 
travellers, who slept soundly until morning, when their 
ears were assailed by the rain beating loudly and fast 
upon the roof, to which their attic lodging brought them 
in close proximity. The fate of many a traveller who 
has since passed through that pluvious region, was 



EONEOUSKI. 



175 



theirs, and for four successive days the rain continued 
to pour down, with little or no cessation. They were 
forced to remain unwilling pensioners upon the un- 
grudging- hospitality of their host. The steep moun- 
tain side in front of his residence had become one vast 
cataract, and the valley through which their journey 
lay was converted into the bed of a deep rapid stream, 
continually rushing with eager haste to swell the in- 
creasing current of Richland Creek. The impetuous 
fluid, as it ran foaming and dashing in every direction, 
mingled with the voice of the winds, filled the air with 
an endless variety of sounds — sometimes it was a low 
monotonous murmur, like that of a multitude of wild 
beasts growling over their prey — then it was the loud 
eager howl of an army of famished wolves — now it 
was the startling roar of a den of lions, impatiently 
expecting their banquet — and then was it the shrill 
hissing of a multitude of serpents. 

Amid these ravings of the storm without, the tra- 
vellers, with the regular inmates of their hospitable re- 
treat, gathered more closely around the cheerful hearth, 
and experienced that agreeable sensation which accom- 
panies the proximity of danger, with the consciousness 
of security against it. It was thus they consoled them- 
selves for the real disappointment they experienced in 
the interruption of their journey. For two nights their 
sleep was comfortable and undisturbed, but on the third, 
a contemptible foe, rendered formidable by numbers, en- 
tirely banished repose from their pillows, and made 
them solicitous for a change of quarters. An army of 
rats, driven by the incessant and chilling rain from their 
own habitations, but illy defended against such an enemy, 
took refuge in the same retreat with the sojourners, and, 
according to their nature, slumbering in the day time, 
held, at night, their disgusting orgies in every part of 
the habitation, and even upon the very beds and persons 
of its inmates. There was no fire-place in the loft 
occupied by the travellers, and they sought partial relief 
by setting a lighted candle in the middle of the floor. 



176 EONEGUSKI. 

But as soon as they fell asleep, the vermin assailed the 
candle, and, gnawing it around, caused it to fall over 
and extinguish itself — when, making lawful prize of the 
remainder, they renewed their gallopings, and aroused 
the sleepers. 

During the fifth night the wind blew from the north- 
west, and the odious rain ceased to descend, and, by 
morning, the floods, like thoughtless spendthrifts, had 
exhausted their superabundant resources, and were 
calmly flowing along in their wonted channels. 



EONEGUSKI. 177 



CHAPTER XIX. 



An Indian by a white man's side, 
Alternate plac'd * + * * * 

Yamoyden. 

There is a feeling of renovation and elasticity with 
which a traveller resumes his suspended journey ; and 
in no situation is it so signally perceived, as, when 
bending his way homeward, the suspension has been 
occasioned by natural interpositions, altogether insur- 
mountable, and to which he has been obliged to chide 
his spirit into reluctant submission. A delightful sense 
of freedom expands the bosom of the pilgrim, recently 
weather-bound, when he finds himself once more tread- 
ing at large upon the earth, and pressing onward, in 
the pursuit of his journey. His heart goes bounding 
before him, as it were, toward those objects of affection 
he is striving to reach. 

With such feelings did Eoneguski, after the cessation 
of the rain, resume his way towards the Indian country, 
and Gideon was, to a considerable extent, a participa- 
tor in his pleasure. 

The rain, for the last few hours of its fall, had been con- 
verted into ice as soon as it descended upon the branches 
of the trees, and other objects, whose capacity for the 
transmission of caloric rendered them fit for the pur- 
pose. Early in the morning the appearance presented 
was beautifully picturesque. All nature clothed in her 
vitrious livery, seemed a vast fairy creation, sparkling 
with a lustre which belonged not to this world; but 
when the rays of the rising sun fell upon it, and were 
immediately scattered abroad, in refracted and reflected 
splendor, the dazzled eye was overcome, and the ima- 
gination bewildered with the rich variety of unwonted 
beauty. 



178 EONEGUSKI. 

Eight miles of journeying, over the worst of roads, 
brought our travellers to Waynesville, situated on a 
steep ridge, at the foot of which flowed Richland Creek. 
The recent rains and frosts had rendered the streets, or 
rather the street, of Waynesville, almost impassible. 
The rich soapy earth, of which the surface was com- 
posed, for a considerable depth, suffered those who 
walked over it, to sink three or four inches at every 
step, and adhered afterwards with the most obstinate 
tenacity to whatever came in contact with it, whether 
shoes, moccasins, bare feet or clothing. This sea of 
mud had been wrought up to a state of regular fluidity 
by the multitude of passengers on foot and on horse- 
back. 

The sun had melted into vapor the pageant of the 
morning, and it was no more. — Like an unprincipled 
lover to the lip of beauty, his kisses had been fatal to 
the inconsiderate object on which they were lavished, 
and by whom they were so eagerly and joyously re- 
ceived. And yet the scene at Waynesville was highly 
picturesque, or at least would have been so to one 
who saw it as a novelty. Comparatively speaking, 
to few of our readers would it have been familiar. It 
was Tuesday of the county court week, and here were 
mingled in simple and unpolished familiarity, the rug- 
ged pioneer of civilized society, his unabashed wife 
and daughters — the red skinned aboriginal, with his 
squaw — and here and there a thick lipped African, male 
or female, with their ceaseless bursts of merriment and 
song, and cheerful laughter-loving countenances. In 
every direction around the village might be seen horses, 
bearing on their backs the saddles of men or women, 
fastened by the bridle to stake, tree, or fence, according 
to the convenience or whim of the owner, waiting, with 
drooping head and half shut eyes, the lapse of the tedious 
hours their riders might think proper to consume in 
business or pleasure, regardless of their privation, both 
of food and water. Now and then some truant steed, 
availing himself of an insecure fastening, by the careless 



EONEGUSKI. 179 

owner, or of some defect in the bridle, or of his own 
peculiar skill in such matters, had broken from his 
confinement, and approached some dosing animal of his 
own species, and, smelling at him, or giving him a 
shrewd nip with his teeth, caused him to utter a loud 
squeal, with a threatening elevation of one of the hind 
feet. Having performed this prank, after the manner 
of a school-boy upon some lounging companion, he 
would kick up his heels with a triumphant snort, and 
gallop off to prosecute the same teazing process upon a 
new subject. Except occasional occurrences of this 
sort, and now and then salutary neighings, upon the 
arrival of another individual, or company, these ani- 
mals might be seen standing as motionless the livelong 
day as the objects to which they were secured. But 
as it wore towards night, a low whinny, at the sound of 
any approaching footstep, indicated their impatience to 
be gone. 

Not thus uniform and quiet in their deportment were 
the human creatures assembled at Waynesville, but, on 
the contrary, variety and noise were their prevailing 
characteristics. Perhaps few occasions ever present 
themselves on which the philosopher would have found 
a map for the study of human nature in its undisgui- 
sed traits, more conveniently spread out before him. 
Probably nothing would have presented itself as more 
strikingly obvious than the great difference between 
two portions of the human race, who, with about the 
same practical habits of civilization and refinement, 
had the one risen from a lot of deeper ignorance and 
barbarism, and the other descended by gradual progres- 
sion from a state of knowledge and polish, once the 
boast of its ancestors. The vulgarity of the one was 
manifestly the effect of ignorance, and although it might 
offend, did not shock. It was seen to be the cold dic- 
tate of necessity to express an idea, for which other lan- 
guage was wanting, which idea was itself the sugges- 
tion of no impure passion or filthy imagination, but 
occurred in the ordinary pursuit of the business of life, 



180 EONEGTJSKI. 

and excited therefore in the mind no sympathetic sense 
of guilty shame. In the other, there was a grossness 
at once shocking to delicacy — an evident gusto and 
guilty pleasure which the speaker took in it — it reflect- 
ed the impure passions of his own heart, and had a 
brightness of coloring imparted to it by a polluted ima- 
gination — the mysterious sympathies of depraved nature 
were awakened — and virtue felt the infusion of poison- 
ous contagion, and was self-abased and insulted, as we 
should be by the ruffian who cast dirt upon our clean 
and spotless garments. In short, in the latter case, both 
the speaker and the hearer had eaten of the tree of 
knowledge, and between them, as with our first pa- 
rents, after their fatal transgression, the fig leaves were 
necessary for the preservation alike of comfort and 
purity. In the other, it was perceived that their eyes 
had not been opened, and they knew not that they were 
naked, and there was therefore neither guilt nor shame, 
to awaken sinful or painful sympathies. 

In general, the savage, like the child, in his progress 
in knowledge, first learns that which is innocent or 
substantially useful, without attaining to that which 
enables him to refine upon and multiply crime, and, 
consequently, to increase its seductiveness, its power 
of mischief, and its guilt. In declining civilization, 
nearly all the knowledge which tended to purify and 
ennoble the heart, has gradually run off, leaving its 
dregs mingled with practical depravities, to which they 
have given a more vigorous growth. In the one, ani- 
mal love is in a natural, and, consequently, healthy 
state, and, by necessity, therefore, is neither inordi- 
nate nor improperly directed, a result to which exer- 
cise, and simplicity of diet in no slight degree contri- 
bute. In the other, imagination having been once 
roused into action, and but illy supplied with suitable 
food, busies itself in throwing a luxurious drapery 
round forbidden pleasures, and inflames the passions 
by its warmly colored paintings, and, to this effect diet 
more highly stimulating in its nature, and more glut- 



EONEGUSKI. 181 

tonously consumed, greatly add. These tributary cir- 
cumstances of themselves, also, present striking points 
of difference in the two classes of character under con- 
sideration. Beside these, music, with all its magic 
power to rouse, direct, control, or allay, the various 
passions of the human heart, is scarcely known to the 
one, while in a considerable degree of perfection it is 
always found with the other. The accurate know- 
ledge of money, with a passion correspondent to it, 
which would seem to be in itself entirely artificial, but 
whose seeds are found in every heart, with greater or 
less proneness and capacity for putting forth and grow- 
ing, strongly distinguishes the lapsarian from refine- 
ment, from the improving savage. 

But of all the distinguishing characteristics between 
them, not one is more striking than the relative bearing 
of the softer sex towards the other. He who had visited 
Waynesville on the day we speak of, would have seen 
the numerous white women there assembled, laughing 
and talking in high treble, with easy freedom, among 
the men, and, although the parental relationship might 
have imposed some restriction upon the unmarried ones, 
yet the presence of a husband would have been entirely 
unknown from any difference it produced in the demea- 
nor of a wife. So easy and unrestrained were their 
manners, that they could not have been more so in a 
circle exclusively female. Turning his attention from 
these towards a group of squaws, (for in such exclusive 
groups would he generally have found them,) our spec- 
tator would have seen them conversing calmly and 
noiselessly, and if any thing occasionally stirred their 
mirth, a slight illumination of the countenance, and an 
exhibition of the teeth through the parted lips, would 
be the only indication. This only would he have seen 
if they thought themselves unobserved, for the approach 
of a man, even of their own race, would fix their tongues 
in marble silence, and especially that of her who chanced 
to acknowledge him as her husband. 

Nor was the demeanor of the men less marked w T ith 

vol. i. — 16. 



182 EONEGUSKI. 

difference. Although the Indians walked about among 
the white people with obvious freedom from the slightest 
apprehension of personal danger, there was yet in their 
deportment that caution, and apparent self-restraint, 
which always characterize him who is suspicious of 
being watched, and apprehensive of ridicule or con- 
tempt. Single individuals might be seen threading 
their way in various directions through the crowd, in 
perfect silence, or exchanging some very short obser- 
vation with any who chancecr to address them, each 
arrayed in a manner peculiar to himself, with articles, 
some more primitive, and some more modern, min- 
gled in various proportions, according to the whim or 
luck of the wearer, in the collection of his wardrobe. 
Here might be found one with straight black locks 
flowing about his shoulders in their native freedom — 
there another with a printed cotton pocket handkerchief 
worn after the manner of a turban, with a manifest 
attempt at a display of taste, and a conceited sense of 
ornamental effect, increased doubtless in his estimation, 
by one of the corners hanging down some length behind, 
in travesty resemblance of a queue. In another place 
might be marked one with a new wool hat, most buck- 
ishly adjusted upon the top of his head, attracting obser- 
vation by the paper and twine yet remaining in which 
it had been enveloped by the manufacturer. Others 
were visible in small parties regaling themselves from 
a gourd or tin cup, with a supply of what was called 
whiskey, or brandy, from one of the wagons or carts, 
whose owners, in spite of the difficulties, lust of gain 
had induced to drive over roads nearly perpendicular, 
and otherwise scarcely passible, to supply the urgent 
demand, they knew would be found for their merchan- 
dise, at immense profits to themselves. Still the males 
and females constituted separate parties, and the latter 
were very little noticed by the former. Long, how- 
ever, would the Cherokees drink before it could be 
seen by their manner that they were not engaged in a 
matter of the utmost solemnity — few were their words, 



EONEGUSKI. 183 

and although a smile might occasionally light up their 
countenances, no uproarious laughter was heard among 
them. 

Not so with the white men — laughter, mirthful shouts, 
and loud and unrestrained talking, were almost as indi- 
cative with them of the purpose to drink, as of the " for- 
gone conclusion/' and by a sort of volition, the animal 
spirits were set in rapid motion previous to any impulse 
given them by that which doubtless owes its most com- 
mon name to its effect upon them. Frequent were the 
coarse jests and entendres, almost too plain to be called 
double; and some of them addressed to the women, 
who, far from being abashed or offended, rather took 
pride in a ready apprehension, and generally repaid 
with an interest, which turned the laugh against the 
discomfited disciple of Momus. Rare, indeed, was the 
character who disdained altogether the rites of Bac- 
chus, on the contrary his temporary altars, the tails of 
carts and wagons, scattered over the court-yard, were 
most devoutly thronged, and, among the numberless 
hats, a bonnet might occasionally be seen, whose wearer 
was no less assiduous and constant at the shrine than the 
male worshippers among whom she mingled. The 
myrtle and vine have ever been celebrated by the poets 
as luxuriously intertwined ; and it is sufficient to say, 
that if their union was preserved with less regard to 
elegance at Waynesville than at many other places, 
there was no actual disruption, and the Paphian divinity 
was not wholly neglected. 

The heart of the philanthropist must have bled — the 
towering plume of national pride been lowered on the 
crest of any intelligent patriot, who witnessed the dis- 
gusting display of morals and manners which that time 
and place presented. But the reader must remember it 
is many years since. 

It is not to be imagined after all, however, that there 
was any great moral triumph on the part of our red 
brethren. No! among them, also, "the fire-water" 
produced its natural effect; but the subjects of its in- 



184 EONEGUSKI. 

fluence were not so numerous as among the whites, 
while the proportions as to sexes were much the same. 
But it was not a greater aversion to drunkenness on 
their part that produced the difference ; for except such 
of the Cherokees as had embraced the Christian religion, 
they had no conception of drunkenness being" any vio- 
lation of moral propriety, on the contrary, they threw 
the sacred pall of oblivion over every act perpetrated 
during one of its paroxysms — except homicide. Hence 
it is, that among the white people, drunkenness has a 
more debilitating effect upon the moral constitution, 
than among the Indians. In the one it is a mere bodily 
disease, affecting the mental powers, and when the indi- 
vidual recovers, his self-respect is in no degree dimin- 
ished, and conscience has not been wounded, and, con- 
sequently, is no way enfeebled by the debauch. The 
other, offending and wounding- conscience while he is 
steeping his senses in the stupifying draught, has for 
one of his objects the administering an opiate to this 
troublesome monitor, who, when he comes to himself, 
wakes with, and turns revengefully' upon him. She 
tells him that he has brutalized and degraded himself — 
that he is morally defiled in the eye of Heaven, antJ' 
disgraced in the sight of man. Stung with remorse, he 
drinks again— not like the savage, for mere indulgence 
of appetite — but to drown the clamors of conscience, 
as a thing more easy and expeditious than to appease 
her by repentance. In the natural man the pride of 
conscious rectitude, (the best known substitute for true 
religion, as a security against vicious practises,) when 
once thro vvn down, can not be at once restored to its 
original perpendicularity, and every prostration dimin- 
ishes for a time, at least, the angle of its subsequent 
elevation, until, at last, it can no more be raised from 
its degradation ; and thus does the perpetration of one 
known crime always diminish the safety of the moral 
fabric, while the same act committed by him who 
esteems it not a crime, leaves his moral condition com- 
paratively unchanged. 



EONEGUSKI. 185 

What then, it may be asked, (returning to the sub- 
ject from which we have been unconsciously lead,) 
rendered the Indians at Waynesville more sober than 
the white people? The answer is — prudence. Con- 
scious of the secret workings of their own hearts, they 
had no confidence in the amicable shew made by the 
whites. They were like the stranger upon Mount Ve- 
suvius, who, having read or heard of the sudden and 
treacherous bursts of destruction from its vine-clad and 
peaceful sides, sweeping individuals, cities, the works 
of nature, and of art, into general ruin — walks with 
caution amid the seeming safety. Besides, they dared 
not trust themselves ; they knew that their own hearts, 
like so many magazines of combustibles, were ready to 
ignite by the slightest spark, and that unless an ever 
watchful prudence was there to ward them off, such 
sparks must inevitably find their way thither. They 
were not ignorant that in the explosion which would 
ensue, ruin might overtake some of their white neigh- 
bors, but they knew also that like the magazines before 
mentioned, the destruction of themselves, the instruments 
of mischief, would be certain and effectual. But there 
was a minor object of apprehension, that experience 
had taught them was neither slight nor unlikely to be- 
set them, should they, by intoxication, deprive them- 
selves of the power of resistance : and that was being 
seduced by the whites into "trades," as they were cal- 
led, in which most decided advantages were certain to 
be on one side. These considerations were sufficient 
to restrain the bulk of them from the indulgence of an 
inclination, common, perhaps, to the whole. But a 
few, by a sort of tacit permission of the rest, ventured, 
in the confidence that the presence and number of their 
comrades would be an ample security against any of 
the dreaded evils. This privilege of self-indulgence 
was not the result of accident or of special favor, but 
was conferred in regular order of distribution upon 
each member of the party, at different times, in their 
respective turns. 
16* 



186 ITONEGTTSia. 

When an Indian becomes drunk it affects him very 
much as it would a white man, save that his usual 
gravity, being contrasted with his present wildness and 
levity, makes them appear the more extravagant, and 
he seems to be in fact transported into greater excesses 
by his animal spirits, from their being usually, as it 
were, corked up like fixed air in a bottle. For a time 
he retains a consciousness that he is exposing him- 
self, as well as of the cause, and in the midst of his 
vagaries is ever crying out in a mingled tone of rap- 
ture and apology, "Whiskey too much." When his 
companions find he is becoming too riotous or danger- 
ous, they without hesitation bind him as they would a 
madman, until the paroxysm is over ; and the subject 
of this treatment, when he comes to himself, is neither 
offended nor considers himself ill-used. 

Such is a partial description of the spectacle which 
awaited Gideon and Eoneguski on their arrival at 
Waynesville. Most of the circumstances were, how- 
ever, but repetitions of what they had both before wit- 
nessed at the same place. Here, for a time, they sepa- 
rated, each mingling with the people of their respective 
complexions. Among the one Eoneguski saw not an 
individual whom he did not personally know, and among 
the other Gideon met with a few acquaintances, who 
were not slow in bringing in others to widen the circle. 
This proved to be a heavy and unthought of tax upon 
the purse of Gideon. Having witnessed the temporary 
consequence which others acquired in the company, by 
calling for a fresh supply of liquor r at their own ex- 
pense, with the ostentation and liberality so natural to 
youth, he followed the example. The tide of populari- 
ty that flowed in upon him in consequence of his first 
display, intoxicated him much more than the liquor of 
which he partook, and the flattery thus purchased 
served only to give him an appetite for more. Partly 
through the influence of spirits, and partly from the 
commendations which became more and more fulsome, 
as those who uttered them grew more intoxicated, (until 



EONEGUSKI. 187 

they were belched forth with the fumes of liquor in his 
face by the maudlin wretches who hung- upon and ca- 
ressed him) — Gideon was led on by degrees until two 
of the ten hard dollars given him by his father, with so 
many lessons of prudence, had taken their flight from 
his pocket, and he was fast falling into that state in 
which the rest would soon unconsciously follow. 

Eoneguski beheld with anxiety what was going on. 
He remembered the solemn pledge he had given to 
Aymor for the safety of his son, and already began to 
repent his rashness ; for here was a danger T and a serious 
one too, which it would be folly for him even to attempt 
averting. Such an effort would certainly offend the 
associates of Gideon, and perhaps bring upon himsell 
their fatal vengeance ; and there was no small reason 
to apprehend that under existing circumstances even 
Gideon would resent any endeavor to control his ac- 
tions, and repel it with insult. There was in his own 
situation what would give to such an insult ten- fold 
force; and greatly increase his difficulty of acting pro- 
perly under it. His reception among his own people 
at Waynesville had been such as to chafe his pride, and 
render him dissatisfied. They had inquired after the 
fate of John Welch, and soon discovered that Eone- 
guski had not been successful in his undertaking. It 
flew about from ear to ear, and a contemptuous curl of 
the upper lip of each listener had not escaped his 
observation. One or two drunken squaws had gone so 
far as tauntingly to ask him, " Where is the blood of 
the Leech!" To add to his unhappiness, he had 
learned that his absence, or some other cause, had so 
preyed upon the spirits of Eonah, that the old chief 
must ere long find his home among the graves of his 
ancestors. Stung to agony with his own private vexa- 
tions, Eoneguski was yet sensible to the claims of 
friendship and the demands of duty, but he was at a 
loss for suitable means of executing what he knew to 
be desirable. Satisfied of the inutility, and even impru- 



188 EONEGUSKI. 

dence, of a direct personal application, he endeavored 
to seek out a suitable agent. 

Upon the arrival of the travellers at Waynesville, 
of the many knots or assemblages of persons, one 
consisting partly of Indians and partly of whites, was 
gathered around a figure in an Indian costume, who 
was regaling them with the shrill music of a fife. — 
But the feathers of a peacock were not sufficient to en- 
able the jackdaw to pass for a genuine bird of Juno, 
neither could the Indian dress enable Mercury (for 
that was the name of the person of whom we speak) to 
pass for a Cherokee. His complexion had been borrowed 
from a hotter sun, shining upon plains more arid than 
those of America, and he or his ancestors must at some 
period have slaked their thirst at one of the many streams 
which pour their waters into the mysterious Niger. 
Upon seeing Eoneguski his eye sparkled with delight ; 
the tones of the fife ceased abruptly, and he hastily 
pressed through the crowd towards him. It was with 
an effort that he suppressed a cry of pleasure, or the 
most clamorous salutations ; and it is doubtful whether 
he would have succeeded in so doing unrebuked by the 
calm, dispassionate manner of Eoneguski. In spite of 
all his efforts, he exclaimed with a laugh, which, with 
a white man, would have been more expressive of mirth 
than of joy, " I'm so glad to see yer." 

The Indian deigned no reply, but leading the way to 
a more retired spot, the following interview took place 
between them. 

"You have forgotten, Mercury," said Eoneguski, 
" the lessons of Eonah. You remember not that you 
have been adopted among the Oewoehee, and that, like 
them, you should let the fire burn in concealment be- 
neath the ashes." 

" I do my best," said Mercury, laughing, " but it's of 
no use. Yer see there's no sich thing as making an 
Injun out of a nigger. I'm downright glad to see yer, 
and I can't help showing it." 



EONEGTJSKI. 189 

"Is Eonah well ? — Is the oJd warrior as when I 
parted from him ?" inquired Eoneguski, changing the 
subject of conversation. 

Mercury shook his head mournfully, and then look- 
ing significantly at Eoneguski, " No !" he said, "there 
must soon be a new chief of the Eonee." 

Eoneguski was silent. His countenance was calm, 
but his bosom heaved not in respiration with its wonted 
tranquillity. After a long pause, he twice opened his 
lips to speak, but as often closed them again, under the 
influence of some powerful restraint. At length he 
inquired, " Is there any voice from Tesumtoe ?" 

" There is none," replied Mercury, "but they say no 
news is good news, and I reckon," looking archly at 
Eoneguski, "the Little Deer is well. I hope, tor her 
sake, that the crows and buzzards owe us a dinner, and 
that John Welch won't come any more, to trouble the 
people of Eonee." 

They continued for some time to converse, Eoneguski 
just throwing in an observation, or asking a question 
now and then, (as the boy blows his breath upon his 
toy windmill, and then looks calmly on, entertained 
with its rapid rotation, until its slackening speed gives 
notice that a new impulse is required,) while the garru- 
lous African, in his loose, disjointed manner, communi- 
cated to him by degrees all that it most concerned him 
to know of what had transpired since his departure 
from the Indian country. At length they separated; 
the one, like Orpheus, to charm the ear of dulness with 
his music, and the other to mingle with the people of 
his tribe. 

The sable personage with whom Eoneguski thus 
held discourse, was a slave of his father, who had been 
promoted for his sagacity and supposed fidelity to the 
confidential post of ' Linkister,' as it is call< d in corrup- 
tion, it may be of linguist. However, in the part of the 
country of which we are writing, the term linkister is 
received and adopted both by Indians and white people, 
and applied by them to the person who acts as interpre- 



190 EONEGUSKI. 

ter in intercourse between the two. This very respon- 
sible station Mercury had for some years enjoyed, more 
to the profit, it is said, of the white people who had 
dealings with it, than to that of the tribe for whom, 
as well as for himself, his master, as their chief, allowed 
him to act. The white people, it is thought, found 
him among the moderns, as the divinity, after whom, it 
is probable, he was named, is reputed to have been 
amongst the ancients — a safe ally in schemes of kna- 
very, and one to whom a timely application, made in a 
suitable manner, would be attended with the most for- 
tunate results. But the Cherokees confided implicitly 
in their linkister, and were probably fleeced accord- 
ingly. 

His situation in life had rendered Mercury a most 
extraordinary compound of the white man, the Indian, 
and the negro, in habits and moral character ; his coun- 
tenance wore by turns the expression of contemplative 
philosophy, the inexpressive calmness of stoicism, and 
the thoughtless levity of the Epicurean. 

It was to this personage that Eoneguski determined 
to apply, in the line of his profession, to negotiate 
between himself and Gideon. It justly occurred to 
him that Mercury's better knowledge of the character 
of the white people would enable him more successfully 
to approach Gideon, while in turn the white man's 
pride and jealousy would be less awakened by an inti- 
mation from an humble slave, than from the haughty 
son of a Cherokee chief. After coming to this determi- 
nation, before Eoneguski could find Mercury, another 
person had extricated Gideon from his immediate diffi- 
culty. 



EONEGUSKI. 191 



CHAPTER XX. 

One venerable man, belov'd of all, 

****** 

flow rev'rend was the look he bore, 
This gentle Pcnnsylvanian sire. 

Campbell. 

There is in almost every community some indi- 
vidual particularly distinguished for his piety and 
benevolence — like Abram, in Canaan, or Lot, in Sodom. 
Heaven, even more merciful now than in ancient days, 
seems willing not only to spare, but to visit with con- 
tinual manifestations of its favor, (doubtless for their 
sakes,) each portion of the earth in which Providence 
has cast them. Like a candle in a dark night, the 
solitary light of one of these blessed beings is seen 
amid the moral gloom by which he is surrounded at an 
immense distance, and cheers the heart of the beholder 
with its unpretending lustre. In the presence of such 
men the most hardened profligacy is awed into re- 
spectful silence, and he who laughs at the terrors of 
the Almighty in theory, finds his spirit rebuked and 
subdued by even so inconsiderable a reflection of his 
moral perfections. 

The vicinity of Waynesville was favored with the 
presence of one of these guardian angels. Among the 
first to choose for himself a place of rest in the evening 
of his life, upon the fertile margin of Richland Creek, 
was Moses Holland. What had been his early history 
we shall not now have leisure to inquire. Suffice it to 
say, those who looked upon him in the decline of his 
manhood would have perceived that his youth could 
have claimed, if not the very first, at least a high place 
among the rustic heroes of his day, and that he need 



192 EONEGUSKI. 

not have shunned in any athletic strife the stoutest 
among them. Raising their eyes from his large muscu- 
lar limbs, his round body, deep chest, and broad brawny 
shoulders, they would have seen a clear, bright eye, 
and thin firmly compressed lips, declaring, even in 
silence, that in a righteous quarrel the spirit would be 
found as willing as the flesh was strong. But when 
his countenance was more closely considered, they 
would have read in its expression the short summary 
of the divine law — Love to God, and benevolence to all 
his creatures. Long bleached locks flowed down his 
back and shoulders, surmounted by an ancient beaver, 
from which time and use had entirely worn away 
the nap, leaving it quite smooth, and in some places 
even glossy. The brim was broad, and turned up at 
the two sides, coming to a point in front, and forming 
with the hinder part a triangle. This hinder part 
was also a little turned up by reason of the cape of his 
coat continually pressing against it. The rest of his 
costume was a plain homespun suit, consisting of coat, 
waistcoat, and breeches, of the quality common at this 
day among the peasantry in all parts of the State. The 
coat was of the cut vulgarly called shad-bellied— the 
waistcoat pockets hung down very low, rendered more 
remarkable by a triangular scollop cut out of the lower 
part of the front — the breeches buttoned very tight 
below the knee, finely displaying a well turned calf 
and ancle above a thick-soled low-quartered shoe, fas- 
tened with a large white metal buckle. The old man 
stooped but little, yet he did not disdain the aid of a 
stan\ formed of substantial hickory, with an iron ferule 
at the bottom, to which it tapered from a globular head 
about two inches in diameter, of the same entire piece 
with the rest of the stick, and worn as smooth and 
nearly as highly polished as ivory, by the continual 
attrition and perspiration of the hand. 

It is needless to inquire what had on this day attracted 
Mr. Holland to Waynes ville, yet he was there — perhaps 
to testify his respect for the institutions of his country — 



EONEGUSKl. 193 

perhaps to transact some private business of his own — 
perhaps to befriend some widow, who, in the midst of 
her bereavement, was driven by necessity to apply to 
the county court for authority to snatch the shreds of 
her husband's property, probably rendered his by his 
marriage with her, or by her subsequent industry or 
frugality, from the grasp of wretches who commonly 
hover over the proprietary remains of a dead man, like 
the vulture over the dead brute — perhaps in some other 
way, to obey the promptings of a benevolent heart. 
Gratifications for a benevolent temper are scattered by 
Providence widely and thickly over every quarter of 
the earth, and its possessor never long wants occasions 
for one of those feasts of the heart which only such 
as he can know. 

It was but a short time, therefore, before Mr. Holland 
espied Gideon, and partly through inquiries and partly 
by observation, comprehended his situation. The deter- 
mination to attempt his deliverance followed close upon 
the discovery of his difficulties. The crowd respectfully 
gave way before him as he walked up to Gideon ; " Young 
man," he began in a singing tone of voice, peculiar to 
himself, " you must go home with me." 

" Why, who the devil are you ?" said Gideon, with 
his hat twisted out of all shape, the hind part being be- 
fore, and conceitedly turned up, setting his arms a kimbo 
and turning round upon Mr. Holland, in a blustering 
manner. 

" Never mind," said he, " you shall have a good din- 
ner, and a cup of coffee at night, and a bed to lie on, 
and that's more nor you'll get at Waynesville." 

" And how far do you live from here ?" said Gideon, 
with a face almost purple with liquor. 

" Not more nor two miles," replied the old man. 

"Well, you are a kind old codger, any how," , said 
Gideon, with a simial attempt to look pleased, " give 
me your hand. — Come, take a drink with us." 

" Excuse me, my friend," replied Mr. Holland, 

vol. i. — 17. 



194 EONEGUSKI. 

have a great deal better liquor nor this, at my house, 
so come along with me." 

" Oh, as for that," cried Gideon, after the manner of 
an irritated drunkard, "I don't care a d — n for your 
liquor, except in the way of fellowship; (hiccoughing) 
and if you are two proud to drink with me, why you 
may just be off as quick as you like." 

" You are the son of Bob Aymor, I hear," said the 
persevering old man; " I have the pleasure of knowing 
your father." 

" Well, do you now ?-" said Gideon, with an idiotic 
laugh, followed by an awkward attempt to settle his 
countenance into gravity ; " and what may your name 
be?" 

" My name," replied the old gentleman, "is Moses 
Holland." 

" I think I've heard of you before," said the young- 
ster, standing with his legs wide apart to prop himself 
up, and his mouth hanging half open, whilst his head 
dangled about from side to side in the imbecility of 
intoxication. " They tell me that you are a mighty 
religious man, and don't hold at all with frolicking and 
such like. But you don't think I'm drunk, do you ? 
(hiccoughing.) My father is not a religious man, Mr. 
Holland, but he knows what's right, and I should'nt 
like so well for him to hear that I had been in a frolic." 

" I did'nt come here to find fault with you, and I 
scorn to be a tale-bearer ; so come along with me, and 
we shall soon be good friends." 

So saying, he laid his hand gently upon the young 
man, who yielded passively to his fate, and was lead 
away by the venerable Mr. Holland. 

The companions of Gideon, who had stood by with 
drunken amazement during this interview, now turned 
upon each other looks of stupid wonder and disappoint- 
ment, as the reader may have seen a flock of silly sheep 
when one of their number has been carried off by the 
shearer. 

The dwelling of Mr. Holland, we have already said, 



EONEGUSKI. 195 

was near Richland Creek, where, with the advantages 
of experience and early choice, he had selected one of the 
most productive among the many tracts of fertile land 
which border and give name to this stream. His 
house, situated on the acclivity of a hill, overlooked a 
considerable extent of the richest low grounds, which, 
with the aid of a large family of children, he had brought 
into a state of cultivation but rarely found in that part 
of the country ; for, it may be as well to mention, that he 
was from Pennsylvania, and had brought with him 
many of the sound maxims, and much of the agricul- 
tural experience abounding in that State. 

Mr. Holland was not ignorant of the wants of his 
guest, and, upon their arrival, a bed was quickly pro- 
vided for him, in which he was scarcely deposited before 
he sunk into a profound slumber. 

" I am afraid we shall have our hands full of drunk- 
ards to-night," said Mrs. Holland to her husband, after 
his return from the room where he had been disposing 
of Gideon. " I suppose Smoothly and Rowell will both 
come home tipsy, as usual, and old Johns will not be 
far behind them." 

" I hope not, my dear," replied Mr. Holland, " but 
the Lord's will be done. Happy should I be if it would 
please him to bring them to a knowledge of the error 
of their way. But Mary, my dear, we must bear with 
the frailties of our fellow creatures, and do the best we 
can to make them comfortable. We are ourselves but 
unprofitable servants, and have little reason to com- 
plain of others. Edie," he continued, addressing his 
eldest daughter, " let us have our dinner soon. The 
best of every thing must be kept hot and nice for the 
lawyers against they come home hungry at night. I 
reckon that poor young man in the other room will 
hardly be wanting any thing either until then." 

Edith, a sedate, sweet tempered girl, hastened to com- 
ply with the wishes of her father, whose affectionate 
glance followed her with complacency, as she moved 
about from place to place in the fulfilment of her task. 



196 EONEGUSKI. 

We have said that Mr. Holland had a large family 
of children, yet all but the two younger were the off- 
spring, not of the present Mrs. Holland, but of the 
deceased object of their father's first and early love, 
whom death had years ago snatched from his arms, 
leaving him several pledges of their affection, of all 
whom Edith most strongly resembled her deceased 
parent. It is hardly to be wondered at, then, if some 
chords of his heart vibrated when he heard and saw 
this daughter whose voice, look, and manner presented 
so striking a copy of her buried mother, that were 
stirred by nothing else. 

When the dinner was at length spread upon the sim- 
ple board, and the family gathered around, it would have 
presented a most exquisite study for the painter. Sel- 
dom has the chisel perpetuated a scene so beautifully 
interesting. With patriarchal dignity, mingled with a 
humility of manner which seemed to bow itself in the 
very dust before the August Being he was addressing, 
the venerable man closed his eyes, and elevating his 
hands, invoked a blessing upon their meal, while almost 
every gradation of human existence, from middle age to 
extreme infancy, hung attentively upon his looks and 
words. 



EONEGUSK] 



197 



CHAPTER XXI. 

I ne'er the paths of learning tried, 
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts 
To read mankind, their laws and arts. 
The little knowledge I have gain'd 
Was all from simple) nature drain'd. 

Gay. 

It was long past the hour to which the County Court 
(or as it is called in the statutes, the Court of Pleas and 
Quarter Sessions) for Haywood County, had adjourned, 
when the voice of the Sheriff was heard crying out 
"Oyes! oh yes! — this Worshipful Court has sot in 
consequence of adjournment. God save the State and 
this Worshipful Court." This, it is believed, is a very 
short and somewhat modified compend of the appointed 
formula, to say nothing of the adoption in its introduc- 
tion of the Saxon adverb of affirmation for the French 
verb signifying " Hear." But without at all criticising 
the terms in which the invitation was given, many in 
obedience to it, flocked towards the building where Jus- 
tice had erected, at Waynesville, her temporary altar 
and opened her temple. 

The latter was a coarse building, consisting of un- 
planed boards loosely put together, and scarcely serving 
to defend either priests or worshippers from sun, wind, 
rain, or snow. But poor as were her own accommo- 
dations, Justice was obliged to share them with Bacchus ; 
and a kind of shed attached to the main body of the 
building, formed a bar-room, to which the thirsty moun- 
taineers might repair for refreshment. Nor was the bar- 
room patronized by the lay gents only, for the Worship- 
ful Magistracy, and even some of the gentlemen of the 
17* 



198 EONEGUSKI. 

long robe found the business of the court rather dry, and 
frequently betook themselves to the oblivious streams, 
so much more varied, if not so permanently efficacious 
in their influence as the waters of the fabled Lethe. 

Of all the political phenomena which the United 
States of America presents, there is none more remark- 
able than what is commonly known as the county 
court system. In the first place, the magistrates, or 
justices of the peace, as they are indifferently called, 
are appointed from the mass of the population of their 
respective counties, without any regard either to cha- 
racter or intelligence, and the natural consequence 
is, that a large proportion must (if nothing worse 
than blind chance directed the choice,) be entirely defi- 
cient in both. A still further consequence is, that those 
whose qualifications are the best that the country can 
afford — ashamed of their associates, or wearied with a 
burthen which brings with it neither honor nor profit — 
first grossly neglect the duties of their station, and, 
finally, resign it. This leaves the office almost exclu- 
sively in the hands of the worst qualified of those who 
may aspire to it, namely, the whole white population 
of the county who may have witnessed the transit of 
twenty-one years. Three, at least, of this body — and 
in practice generally, more than ten times that number, 
assemble once in three months at the court-house of 
their county, to hold the county court. To this tribu- 
nal, extensive powers, in their nature legislative, so far 
as the police of the county is concerned, are committed. 
But, besides this, they have a jurisdiction in contests be- 
tween citizens respecting property, entirely unlimited in 
amount; and a criminal jurisdiction extending far enough 
to allow them to sentence the most respectable citizen in 
the community, to the public whipping-post; and, al- 
though the right of appeal is secured by law, yet so 
radically whimsical must be the doings of a tribunal 
thus constituted, that instances are not wanting, where 
the sheriff under the side-bar sentence of the court, has 



EONEGUSKI. 199 

been applying the lash, while the subject's counsel was 
engaged in moving a new trial, an arrest of judgment, 
or demanding an appeal. It is true, that facts in their 
proceedings are committed to the investigation of a jury ; 
but it is a jury generally taken with as little regard to 
qualification, from the same mass with the magistracy. 
But the most intricate questions of law — the most ab- 
struse points of evidence, are to be decided by this tribu- 
nal, by mere intuition ; for it is not even supposed that 
they have ever looked into any other law book than 
Haywood's Manual, Potter's Justice, or the pamphlet 
Acts of Assembly. 

It cannot be denied that they usually have the matter 
discussed before them by an intelligent bar, but the man- 
ner of the discussion is more after the furious mode of 
the prize-fighters at a fair for victory, — not truth, in 
which violent gesticulation and round and reckless as- 
sertion are alone to be found, than the calm, dispassionate 
ratiocinatory process of one who seeks, by fair argument 
and clear illustration to enlighten the minds of the mot- . 
ley court upon a subject lying before it, shrouded in the 
gloom of the profoundest ignorance. The result is, that 
some individual member of the profession acquires, by 
an extraordinary boldness of manner, or some other for- 
tuitous circumstance, an absolute control over the deci- 
sions of the court, leading the minds of its members 
captive at his will, as Satan is said to do those of the 
wicked. All hope of justice is thus cut off from those 
to whom this fortunate advocate may happen to be op- 
posed, save now and then, when some other bias, even 
more powerful than his influence, may chance to operate. 
Such was the nature of the tribunal through whose lips, 
under the etherial inspiration of rye whiskey, or apple 
jack, the perfection of reason was to be uttered at 
Waynesville. 

But the pen of the British Spy is wanting to de- 
scribe the bar by whose breath these instruments of 
justice were stirred into sound. The North Caroli- 
na bar, and it is probable the same remarks apply 



200 EONEGUSKI. 

substantially to the bar of every other State in our 
broad Union, is another phenomenon ; or at least must 
appear so to the eye of any observing European. 
Every American, particularly in the South, who can 
afford him an education, destines at least one of his 
sons for the bar, the pulpit, or the band of Escula- 
pius, and much the greater number for the former of 
these professions. Whether it. is the effect of climate 
we will not undertake to pronounce ; but certain it is, 
in the South, at least, a long preparation for any thing 
is utterly abhorrent to an American : so that after the 
shortest possible cut to a diploma in one of our colleges, 
and sometimes without ever having seen a college, the 
embryo jurist applies to some judge, or lawyer, for 
whose character he entertains a respect, to furnish him 
with a receipt for the shortest method of obtaining a 
license to practise law — with a loan, either gratis or for 
compensation, of the book or books which may be in- 
cluded in the prescribed course. Perhaps, in a majority 
of cases, Blackstone is relied upon, as he is certainly 
competent to qualify him for the examination, so called, 
upon which his license is to depend. When his chosen 
Mentor, who is wont to be very pliant to the wishes of 
the student, pronounces his vessel sufficiently freighted, 
the young adventurer applies, with but little danger of 
denial, to the proper authority for a license, to put forth 
upon the sea of forensic fortune. But in most instan- 
ces there is a weary interval between his making ap- 
pearance at the bar and his appearance as an advo- 
cate ; or, to use the professional phrase, between getting 
his license and getting business. 

In this interval the work of preparation is pressed 
with indefatigable zeal, and his intercourse with the 
seniors of the bar proves no less instructive to him, 
professionally, than his books. We say professionally, 
and might add, generally, as a man of the world. 
Whatever may be said of the profession elsewhere, 
here, at least, experience has so well established with it 
the truth of the maxim, that " Honesty is the best po- 



EONEGUSKI. 201 

licy," that an aberration of one of its members from the 
path of the strictest integrity is more rare than among 
any other class of people. With them the spirit of 
chivalry is no antiquated dream of romance, and a cow- 
ard or poltron would be tolerated amongst them no 
longer than until the fact was discovered. There is, in 
their intercourse, a cordiality of manner and frank con- 
fidence truly delightful, together with a generous inte- 
rest in each other's welfare, the offspring of a fraternity 
more heartfelt, if possible, than that of blood. 

These are some of the intellectual and moral influences 
which the young member of the profession is brought 
under as soon as he begins to associate with his seniors. 
But there is another influence which he finds stealing, 
almost imperceptibly, over him, equally conducive, per- 
haps, to his present enjoyment, but greatly to be deplor- 
ed by those who contemplate him as an immortal being, 
upon whom rests a dread moral accountability. As a 
body, the members of the bar are perfect utilitarians, 
who have culled all those qualities of the human cha- 
racter calculated to render them respectable, useful, and 
happy, in this life, and wiser in their generation than 
the children of light — they pursue their worldly objects 
with no divided aim. The thoughts of futurity are not 
allowed to disturb their quiet, and, as the only security 
against their inconvenient intrusions, they generally 
become free-thinkers. Intolerant of the slightest breach 
of the code of honor or honesty, that portion of the 
moral law which is not found written in either of these 
codes, is overlooked as immaterial. All this, it is to 
be hoped, nay, is believed, to be what the profession 
once was, rather than what it now is, for we have 
reason to think that, while it has lost nothing in these 
latter days of its pristine virtues, many of its more ob- 
jectionable traits have been altogether discarded. 

Thus fitted out with a large stock of knowledge, ac- 
quired in that study which high authority has pro- 
nounced to be the proper one for all mankind, tke 



202 EONEGtISKI. 

North Carolina lawyer will appear before the higher 
or lower tribunals of his country with an effect which 
would astonish one of the learned sergeants of West- 
minster Hall. When he listened to the power of argu- 
ment with which he managed the facts — when he per- 
ceived that, in the absence of nearly every visible form, 
he spoke of the principles laid down in Chitty and Tidd 
with the most perfect familiarity, and applied them to 
his case, he would be greatly amazed — he could not 
believe that a training so totally different from that be- 
stowed upon the English barrister had produced such 
results. But could he enter the arena with the rustic 
looking advocate he would find himself unable, with 
all his professional tactics and experience, to withstand 
the force and fury of his encounter. Far be it from 
us to detract from the highly polished and able advo- 
cates of Great Britain. All that we desire, in our 
bold comparison, is to show, in full relief, the truth, 
that each is best qualified for the station he fills, and 
that different trainings are necessary for different fields 
of action. 

The sketch above made of a North Carolina law- 
yer shows the usual result upon a mind of an order 
naturally high, and under ordinary circumstances ; but 
the same is, in various degrees, produced upon other 
orders, and the picture would be differently shaded, 
according to the circumstances under which it is drawn. 
For instance, in the older parts of the State you see the 
lawyer dressed in finer clothes, of a more fashionable 
cut, and with something more of the cit in his manners 
than his brother of the new settlements. The one glides 
in his sulky over the level plains, with perhaps a servant 
at his back ; the other jogs along, over hill and valley, 
and sometimes scaling the side of a precipice, with his 
time-worn and well-filled saddlebags flapping against 
the sides of his horse. 

Of this latter class, six had found their way to 
Waynesville, and were maintaining a friendly strife, 



EONEGUSKI. 203 

first for fees from those gulls of the law who hovered 
about the court-house, and next for the successful issue 
of the causes committed to their charge. 

Mr. Johns is, by right of seniority, first entitled to 
consideration amongst them. He was a tall lank man, 
about fifty years of age, with locks originally black, 
thickly sprinkled with gray. In his countenance there 
was a sneaking craven expression, better becoming 
a criminal than an advocate, and yet it was in the 
defence of criminals, strange as it may seem, he had at- 
tained a proud pre-eminence in all the courts he attend- 
ed. A stranger would have taken him for the hum- 
blest of the bumpkins who hovered about the bar ; and 
when he opened his mouth, its harsh and unmusical 
tones would never have suggested, that in them dwelt 
the notes of soft persuasion. But when he witnessed 
the sad sufferings of the English language in the throat, 
palate, tongue, and beautiful teeth of Mr. Johns, as it 
was slowly and stammeringly uttered, he would won- 
der still more wherein lay his resemblance to the fa- 
cund Mercury. And a yet higher flight would await 
his astonishment when he looked upon his mean coun- 
tenance — his bleared lack-lustre eyes — the graceless 
stoop of his shoulders — his open collar, exposing a 
scraggy neck, from which the pomum adami protruded 
like a large wen — his slovenly ill-arranged clothing — 
and his spindle shanks appearing beneath his panta- 
loons, a world too short as well as too wide, and expo- 
sing their nakedness, (for they always disdained, except 
in the severest weather, the comfort of a stocking.) And 
yet this man, having neither the gait, air, action, nor 
utterance of a Christian, was certainly a successful 
criminal advocate, nay, even bore away the palm from 
all competition — but 

" What charms, 
What conjuration, or what magic," 

he won his causes, withal, is, perhaps, a professional 
secret. He usually occupied no place within the bar, 
and save when actually engaged in the management of 



204 EONEGUSKI. 

a cause, might be seen mingling- with the people of the 
court-yard, until his social habits had stretched him 
(which was frequently the case) upon the bed of peni- 
tence. 

Next in age stood Mr. Rowell, as brave a man, and 
as generous a spirit, as ever lived. He had been almost 
cradled upon the wave, and had often " felt it bounding 
beneath him like a steed who knows its rider." He 
had heard the thunder of his country's cannon mingled 
with that of her enemy's — had witnessed the soul-stir- 
ring scenes of a naval conflict, and could say with 
JEneas, "all which I saw and part of which I was" — 
had seen the flag of his country flying at a mast-head, 
where that of an enemy had recently waved in proud 
defiance — had heard the groans of the wounded and 
dying — had mingled his voice in the shouts of victory — 
in short, had been an officer in the United States Navy. 
But the voice of love will be heard even amid the howl- 
ings of a storm, and his shaft will sometimes wound a 
heart which has passed scatheless through the thick fly- 
ing dangers of a battle. But we have not time to tell 
the tale^ suffice it, that Mars could not refuse the sur- 
render of a subject whom Venus claimed, and Mr. 
Rowell left the navy of his country for an employment 
more auspicious to connubial bliss. He married, stu- 
died, and became a lawyer. The western part of his 
native State presented to him the most inviting theatre, 
and thither he repaired. His stock, both of law and 
literature, was limited, but a fine fund of natural good 
sense, united with his high spirit, commanded the re- 
spect of the people, and he succeeded beyond his most 
sanguine hopes. But he, too, was the occasional slave 
of intemperance, and his person, originally no way re- 
markable, was now beginning to exhibit those melan- 
choly signs, by which the tyrant marks those whom he 
destines ultimately for his victims. But his mind rose 
strangely above the wreck of his body, and 6eemed, if 
not to gather more, at least to lose nothing, of its pris- 
tine strength. Like a giant, whose natural vigor re- 



EONEGUSKI. 205 

mains unimpaired, while his castle is tumbling into 
ruins about him. At the time we speak of, Mr. Row- 
ell had seated himself in a ricketty chair, behind an old 
barrel with the head upwards, which served him both 
as table and writing-desk. 

Next to him sat Mr. Smoothly, a gentleman of fine 
education and natural genius. Language flowed from 
his lips with ease and smoothness — like a stream of oil, 
it poured along without interruption, and apparently 
without effort. But the happiness of selection which 
marked every word, indicated that it was quickness and 
not languor of mind which caused the absence of appa- 
rent exertion. The ear that heard was charmed with 
the music of his voice, and the fancy was delighted 
with the richness and beauty of his figures. The muses 
did not disdain his advances, but condescended to breathe 
upon him the inspiration which prompts to the produc- 
tion of "immortal verse." He was a cunning master 
of melody, and could set the table in a roar, by night 
or by day, with the felicitous flashes of his wit. And 
yet Smoothly was not a successful advocate; and it is 
not improbable that, as others have done, he found the 
practise of the law rather an expensive business. He, 
too, was intemperate, and had probably been driven by 
that pernicious habit to the present rude scene, from one 
much better suited for the exhibition of his genius and 
accomplishments. This day he had come into court in 
the stupor of intoxication, and throwing himself into 
his accustomed seat, had cocked up his heels upon a 
crazy table, and fallen back in his chair into a deep 
sleep, and was sending forth the sluggard's serenade in 
strains deep and sonorous. 

The remaining members of the bar were sober order- 
ly gentlemen, who attended to their business with com- 
mendable industry, and were no way distinguished by 
any characteristic marks. 

Such were the juris-consults who were congregated 
on this occasion to supply the good people of Haywood 

VOL. I. — 18. 



206 EONEGUSKI. 

with the needful modicum from the treasures of their 
legal learning. 

Eoneguski having made his way into the court- 
house, was observing with the curiosity of an inquisi- 
tive but uninformed mind, every thing that was going 
on, and, probably, in his simple process of reasoning, 
forming not the most elevated opinion of the whites 
from the scene before him. But his thoughts, such as 
they were, he confined to his own bosom. 

After several weighty matters had been discussed, 
a most unlucky specimen of female elegance was cal- 
led up to the bar, bearing in her arms an infant, whose 
beauty, contrasted with his homely mother, said much 
in favor of his father's personal advantages. The sub- 
sequent proceedings disclosed that Mr. Rowell was en- 
gaged in the very charitable work, as ~ county solicitor, 
of assisting the infant in a search such as that which so 
much troubled Captain Marryatt's hero, Japhet. Amid 
a perfect Babel of sounds, the jury was impannelled, 
and the examination of the mother read, charging a 
gentleman present with a paternity which he, by his 
plea, had denied. • Witness after witness was examined 
on each side, contradicting and supporting the charge, 
until the day was nearly consumed, when the testimony 
of the witnesses was succeeded by the arguments of 
counsel — Mr. Rowell opening, old Johns replying, and 
Mr. Rowell again concluding. Zealous and warm 
were they both, and the bystanders, who had been 
before restless and noisy, now listened with the most 
breathless attention, eager to catch every word Even 
a discordant violin, which, regardless of its proximity 
to the scene of grave judicial proceeding, had been 
sending forth, unceasingly, its screams and groans, was 
suddenly hushed into silence, as the accomplished per- 
former rose to have his own ears tickled in turn, for 
the delightful irritation with which he had gratified 
those of others. 

An aged man, whose head was as bald as that of the 
eagle whose effigy graces the flag of his country, and 



EONEGTJSKI. 207 

glistened like an onion newly stripped of its covering, 
was the clerk of the court, who availed himself of this 
season of general quiet to indulge in a comfortable nap. 
Being seated immediately under the chairman of the 
court, (an inveterate chewer of tobacco,) the defenceless 
cranium of the clerk received the greater portion of 
saliva which his worship, from time to time, spurted 
forth. The accumulated fluid ran in brown streams 
over the face of the deep sleeper, and finally trickled 
down from his chin. Still he slept on as if in rivalry of 
Mr. Smoothly, who sat just opposite him. At length 
the justice wished to change his quid, and carelessly 
throwing the old one from him, it chanced to fall into 
the open mouth of the sleeping lawyer, who had an ut- 
ter abhorrence of the weed, and yet it did not wake 
him. 

Mr. Johns had finished his defence, and Rowell was 
proceeding, with great success, to fix the charge upon 
the client of Johns, whose innocence the latter suppo- 
sed he had most triumphantly established. Rowell had 
become warmed, and every one was borne away upon 
the fervid stream of his eloquence, except the little che- 
rub, on whose account was all this stir and excitement. 
This interesting creature, in the artless joy of his heart, 
was playing with the ribbon of his mother's bonnet, and 
crowed and laughed, perfectly unconscious that he was 
born to a life of shame, or that the seal of infamy was 
stamped upon his beautiful brow. All else, we have 
said, were riveted in mute attention on the lips of Row- 
ell, and even the crier of the court, to whose eyes nature 
had denied the blessed light of Heaven, bent his sight- 
less orbs upon the speaker, and seemed perfectly enrap- 
tured. As Rowell was rushing on, trampling, as it 
were, his adversary beneath his feet, the infant, whose 
eyes had been wandering from face to face with the 
most joyous expression, suddenly turned them upon the 
traverser, and cried out in the first accents of childhood, 
" Papa !" Rowell, with great presence of mind, seized 
upon the incident. " Yes, gentlemen," said he, "nature 



208 EONEGUSKI. 

now speaks through the lips of infancy, and asserts her 
claim ; and the same Almighty Being who opened the 
mouth of the dumb ass, and caused her to utter the voice 
of rebuke to his prophet, hath also, on this occasion, 
taught language to the unpractised tongue, and, through 
the mouth of a babe, hath uttered the voice of irresisti- 
ble truth." 

A half drunken creature, who had long stood, with 
open mouth, just at the back of the speaker, trans- 
ported by this last happy flight, clapped his hands 
together, and exclaimed, in a voice of thunder, " By 
G — d, if old gimlet would only keep sober, I would 
rather have him than any of them." 

Rovvell was overwhelmed; the stream of water which 
sets in motion the complicated machinery of a mill, 
stops not more suddenly, when the gate is lowered, 
than did his voice upon the present occasion — 

" Surprise in secret chains his words suspends." 

Every eye was fixed upon him, and a grotesque re- 
semblance to that contemptible tool mentioned by the 
clown, which had never before been noticed, now for- 
cibly struck all present, and the effect was irresisti- 
ble. A shout of laughter rang through the hall of 
justice, and startled the sleepers from their leaden slum- 
bers ; and while the one gagged and sputtered to eject 
the discarded quid of the justice, which had been soak- 
ing in his throat for the last half hour, the other, feeling 
the moisture upon his head and face, inquisitively put 
up his hand to ascertain what it was. This attempt to 
explore the matter but served the more to confound him, 
while it gave a wider spread to his loathsome mask. — ■ 
At length the truth flashed upon his mind, and he vent- 
ed his vexation in the most bitter curses upon the ma- 
gistrate, who, in turn, swore roundly that the thing was 
entirely accidental. None but the oaths of the magis- 
trate reached the ears of the blind crier, who, as soon 
as he heard them, and not imagining from whence they 
came, called out, in all the formality of official conse- 



EONEOUSKI. 209 

quence, "What profane wretch is that swearing in 
court; I'll soon have him before their worships." 

A confusion and uproar, now too wild to admit of 
suppression or control, dissolved the court for the day, 
and it is doubtful whether the paternity of the poor 
little babe has been settled, even up to this period. The 
balance of the day was spent in horse racing, fighting, 
and other kindred amusements, with which most of the 
inhabitants of Waynesville and its vicinity were wont 
to beguile their idle hours. 



18* 



210 EONEGUSKI. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

For Albert's home they sought. 



Campbell. 



In the ruder stages of society the quantity of food is 
a matter of much more importance than its quality ; and 
in the more early periods of civilization food can be 
dispensed with altogether, for a season, if an abundant 
supply of intoxicating liquors be only substituted. Thus 
it is the practice to provide at places where men are 
wont to assemble, rather against the demands of arti- 
ficial thirst, than hunger or the necessity for sleep. 

The tavern which had contributed to give Waynes- 
ville the rank of a town, wanted all the substantial 
utility of such an institution. Drink, truly, such as 
it was, could be obtained there in great abundance ; but 
eating and sleeping were matters altogether of too trivial 
concern to merit the provident attention of the landlord. 
From pure kindness of heart, therefore, and not in 
compliance with any avaricious yearnings for gain, did 
Mr. Holland, to supply the defect of accommodation at 
Waynesville, open his hospitable doors. Thither, 
amongst others, the gentlemen of the bar resorted for 
that comfort for which they would have sought in vain 
any where else in the vicinity of Waynesville. It was, 
in fact, a great inconvenience, both to him and his 
worthy spouse, but from the motives before mentioned 
they submitted to it, and although he could not afford 
the finding both his guests and their horses altogether 
gratis, yet the old gentleman took from them barely 
enough to defray his actual expense, without accepting 
any thing for trouble. Yet of this he had a large 
share, and it is to be feared that his courtesy was 



EONEGUSKI. 211 

not very gratefully repaid by those who were its re- 
cipients. His piety was notorious, and although he 
did prevent, by the most positive prohibition, the dese- 
cration of his mansion by card playing, yet in that day, 
when there were no temperance societies to back him 
in what would have been considered a manifest breach 
of common civility, as well as a gross encroachment 
upon personal freedom, he could not withhold from 
his guests intoxicating drinks of the best quality within 
his reach, and had thus frequently the mortification, 
from the abuse of his favors, to perceive himself instru- 
mental in the production of consequences disgraceful to 
them, distressing to his family, and painfully offensive 
to his own moral sense. To most outbreaking pro- 
fanity he was compelled often to submit, though not 
without some word or look expressive of his disappro- 
bation ; and his ears were not spared occasional disdain- 
ful hints relative to the graces by which, in spite of 
them, he scrupulously accompanied every meal. 

To Mr. Holland's the gentlemen of the long robe re- 
paired, after the very sudden dissolution of the court, as 
described in the last chapter, amusing themselves as they 
went, and even after their arrival, with good humored 
raillery upon Johns, Roweil, and Smoothly, relative to 
their respective parts in the closing scene. These gen- 
tlemen, like those of the profession in other parts of 
the State, were exceedingly free and easy in their in- 
tercourse with each other out of court, and it would 
have argued great want of tact in any one seriously to 
have resented a sally of pleasantry of which he might 
be the subject. Mr. Holland, although a pious man, 
was not one of those who imagined religion to consist 
in a vinegar countenance or starched formality of man- 
ner, and enjoyed as much as any of them the humor of 
the scene, which he succeeded at length in gathering 
almost entire by putting together the several parts fur- 
nished by each contributor. " Why, Smoothly," he 
said, after laughing until his very sides were sore, 
" you must have enjoyed the squire's quid, you held on 



212 EONEGUSKI. 

to it so long. I think a'ter awhile you'll make a tole- 
rable tobacco chewer." 

" Well, father Holland," said Smoothly, " don't you 
think a gentleman might be excused for washing down 
such a joke as that with a good drink ?" 

" Ah, Smoothly," said Rowell, who was constantly 
vacillating between good purposes -and evil practice, 
"any thing for an excuse." 

" Well boys," said old Johns, " I am like the feller 
who, hearing one cry out for licker bekase he was 
cold, and another bekase he was warm, called to the 
waiter, ' Bring me a glass of brandy and water, bekase 
I likes it.' So Holland do let me have something to 
drink, bekase I likes it. I second Smoothly' s motion." 

Gideon, who had by this time come to himself, en- 
joyed very much this new society into which he was 
thrown, and it was quite a treat to him to listen to the 
stale professional jokes and tales with which, after sup- 
per, Johns, Rowell, and Smoothly amused themselves 
until late bed-time; while in an adjoining apartment, 
the three other members of the bar, regardless of the 
mirthful cachinnations which frequently assailed them, 
were arranging the facts and law of the trials for the 
succeeding day. 

Mr. Holland and Johns had sunk into that quiet, 
contemplative state, that the pipe, to which they were 
both considerably enslaved, is so apt to induce ; and the 
conversation had begun somewhat to flag between 
Smoothly and Rowell, (a thing altogether insufferable 
in a professional circle,) while Gideon, with all the in- 
terest of a novice, was impatiently listening for some 
new sally from the lawyers, entitled, by the mint from 
whence it proceeded, to pass as genuine wit. 

" Come, Smoothly," at length said Rowell, " the 
squire's quid seems not only to have taken away your 
appetite, but destroyed your spirits." 

" Not so fast," replied Smoothly, " I don't think you 
have much to brag upon ; in the first place, I was 



EONEGUSKI. 213 

not so sorely watered as yourself, and am now at least 
as cheerful, if not quite so witty." 

" Why, you are disposed to be severe," answered 
Rowell, a little ruffled. " You know very well that 
no one pretends to vie with you in wit, writing verses, 
or pretty speaking." 

" And you know Rowell," said Smoothly tauntingly, 
" that you consider yourself a perfect Isocrates in com- 
posing speeches, but not being so deficient in brass as 
poor Isocrates, you are not far behind Demosthenes in 
delivery." 

" If I were disposed to be as severe as you, Smooth- 
ly," said Rowell, " I might retort on you, and say, what 
I do not allege as the fact, that you resemble much 
more Theodorus, the father of Isocrates, than that cele- 
brated orator himself.; for the former had no higher 
reputation than that of being a good maker of music." 

" And if you were to say it," replied Smoothly, " I 
should hold it as no reproach, for I believe with Shaks- 
peare, that ' he who has no music in his soul is fit for 
treasons, stratagems, and spoils.' " 

This observation was accompanied with a look of 
provoking significance at Rowell, who was notoriously 
deficient both in fondness for music, and the power of 
making it. 

" Do you mean any serious personal application of 
your remark?" inquired Rowell, with stern composure. 

" Qui capit, ille facit, you understand some Latin, 
sir, I suppose," replied Smoothly, with cool indifference. 

" Better, sir, than you do the conduct becoming a gen- 
tleman," said Rowell, tartly. 

" I suppose you would have a man to learn his man- 
ners before the mast of a vessel, or in the accomplished 
society of some modern Palinurus," replied Smoothly, 
with most provoking coolness. 

" No, sir, such society would be altogether too good 
for you, and as you are fond of classical names, I know 
none which you may more justly appropriate to your- 
self than that of Thersites" 



214 EONEGUSKI. 

11 1 am fearful," replied Smoothly, " that a fate simi- 
lar to his awaits me, for I see that Achilles already has 
his fist doubled," looking at the right hand of Rowell, 
which he had in his excitement closed after the manner 
of one about to strike. 

" D— n it, Smoothly," said Rowell, recovering his 
good humor, " you are too hard for me." 

" If you would only read more, Rowell, I should be 
no match for you," replied Smoothly. " Now you did 
not know that it was for laughing at him for appearing 
as a mourner at the death of Penthesilea, that Achilles, 
with a blow of his fist, slew Thersites; (a very small 
matter, surely, for which to take a man's life;) or you 
might have kept up the ball on your side by saying 
something like this — I will not follow. the example of 
Achilles, and slay even such a wretch for such a 
trifle. — Drink less Rowell, and read more." 

" Well," said old Johns, " happy to find the conversa- 
tion once more coming back to plain every day English; 
what Smoothly says puts me in mind of the old story 
of the kittle calling the pot black; come, both of you 
drap it like a hot potato, and let Smoothly give us a 
song. Father Holland you have no objections to Mr. 
Smoothly' s giving us a song ; it won't disturb the family, 
will it ?" 

" Why, if it's a dacent song, Mister Johns, I have no 
objection in the world ; but you know Smoothly, you 
sung a song here once that I could not stand." 

" I can't sing at all," said Smoothly. " I feel that 
infernal tobacco juice in my throat this minute ; besides, 
I have a cold, and my voice, Johns, is nearly as much 
cracked as your own." 

" I thank you for the compliment," replied Johns, 
" if not for your great willingness to oblige. I never 
saw one of your rale singers that was worth a pipe of 
tobacco ; they are sartain to have a cold, if a man axes 
them to sing ; and when nobody cares about hearing 
them, they are eternally singing or whistling, like the 
wind through the key- hole of a winter night." 



EONEGUSKI. 215 

"Let him alone boys," said Mr. Holland; "don't 
persuade him, or you won't git a song to-night." 

" Come, Smoothly," said Rowell, " you remind me 
of the dutchman's horse — devilish hard to catch, and 
not worth much after you are caught." 

" Well, boys," at length, said Smoothly " if you 
want me to sing, you must make father Holland bring 
out another decanter, for Johns, like a great sponge, as 
he is — has sucked up all the first one." 

" It would be monstrous hard to cheat you out of your 
share of what's going, Smoothly, your mouth is always 
ready to catch its portion, even to scattering quids of 
tobacco." 

This mere allusion to the affair at the court-house 
was more amusing to the company assembled round 
Mr. Holland's hearth, than would have been far better 
wit, and produced a general burst of laughter at Smooth- 
ly's expense, who, however, was not himself diverted 
— from the subject of the liquor. 

Gideon, who had occasionally heard Mr. Smoothly 
sing, and from whom, indeed, his sister Atha had learn- 
ed .several songs, including the one given towards the 
beginning of our story, was waiting with eager impa- 
tience to hear the preliminaries settled, and have his ear 
greeted by the melodious voice of that gentleman ; he 
was, therefore, much gratified when the good natured 
Mr. Holland finally consented to bring forth the other 
decanter, from which Mr. Smoothly having moistened 
his throat, entered upon the following preface : — " Gen- 
tlemen, a man somewhat in the habit of singing is 
more at a loss to please himself in the selection of a 
song, than one whose stock being small, furnishes him 
with a very narrow field of choice: any of you, then, 
will oblige me by naming the song you would prefer — " 

" Oh, any thing you please," was the general cry, 
leaving Smoothly still in difficulty. 

At length, said Gideon, modestly, " If Mr. Smoothly 
remembers a song which he composed, was the word, I 



216 EONEGUSKI. 

think he used at our house, during a long spell of rain, 
I, for one, should like to hear it." 

Smoothly blushed. " I remember it, Mr. Aymor, but 
I should rather be excused from singing it : won't some- 
thing else answer as well." 

But it was too late ; the company all pounced upon this 
song, and nothing else would serve them, though none 
of them had heard it, except Gideon. Smoothly sung 
one or two other songs, with a view of putting them off, 
but at every pause the song called for by Mr. Aymor 
was insisted on. At length, Smoothly struck up to the 
air with which the public has been made familiar, by 
Thomas Moore's song of Love's Young Dream, the 
following words : — 

The down of youth was on my chin ; 

As Time pass'd by 
I long'd impatient to begin 

Life's scenes to try. 

Love's warm desire — 

Ambition's fire 
Were stirring up my heart, 
Which bounded wildly in my breast, 
And keenly felt their smart ; 
Disdaining tame inglorious rest — 
It spurn'd each soothing art. 

The world — a wide extensive plain, 

Was richly spread 
With all the human heart would gain ; 

Whilst o'er my head 

Hope's arch so bright 

With radiant light 

Was gilding all the scene, 
Where Love erected num'rous bow'rs 
la deepest, fadeless green, 
While, far beyond thro' mingling flow'rs 
Fame's lofty heights were seen. 

Approaching me, there came three dames, 

In gay attire ; 
Beauty in one awoke to flames 

Love's kindling fire. 



JEONEGUSKI. 217 

A myrtle wreath 

Whence odors breathe, 
With grace she bore along, 
And, smiling, said, " Sweet youth 'tis thine. 
" Love's votaries among 

" Come learn such heav'nly wreaths to twine, 
" And join Cytherea's throng." 

Ere yet this lovely speaker ceas'd, 

Another came. 
Her breath ambition's fire increas'd, 

To brighter flame. 

A wreath of bays 

With pride displays — 
" Bend thy fair head, my boy, 
•' Which with this glorious crown I'll grace, 
" And fill thy soul with joy ; 
" And Venus there shall find no place, 
" Who woos but to destroy." 

Confus'd — I stood in doubtful choice : 

The third fan spake. 
A vine she bore, and cri'd " Rejoice ! 

" To bliss awake ! 

" Here, take this cup, 

" Drain ev'ry sup, 
" 'Tis fill'd with juice Divine; 
" Bid Love and Fame now stand aside, 
" And when you've tasted Wine, 
" The arms of both will open wide, 
" And Love and Fame be thine." 

With eager haste I seiz'd the cup ; 

'Twas bright pure gold — 
Its crimson waves I swallow'd up, 

With courage bold. 

My wild delight 

Soon put to flight 
Love, and her sister Fame ; 
Who never since will condescend, 
My fellowship to claim. 
The cup remains — my only friend — 
My solace— and my shame. 

Mr. Smoothly surpassed himself in execution, and 
there was in the tone^in which the last verse was 
uttered a pathetic sensibility of its truth, as applied to 

vol. i. — 19. 



218 EONEGUSKI. 

himself, in which the hearers felt deep sympathy. 
This induced a gloom, which, acting as a sedative upon 
all their feelings, fitted them for repose. 

The lawyers having retired, late as it was, Mr. Hol- 
land and his household surrounded their family altar, 
and offered to the Almighty their evening sacrifice, 
previously to committing themselves to their respec- 
tive pillows. 



END OF VOLUME ONE. 



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